Monday, March 18, 2013

Which companies provide robotic systems to the military?

Elbit Systems' unique VIPeR Robot
My friends at Robohub.org are running a week-long series of focused stories about robotics for defense, security and surveillance purposes. In an attempt to add to the conversation, here is a list of some of the companies that produce these types of robotic devices. This list is comprised of publicly-traded stocks in various stock exchanges in America, Canada and Europe. There are many more --privately-held companies -- not included in this posting because of time constraints.
  • AAR Corp (AIR:NYSE) - a diversified provider of products and services to the worldwide aviation and government and defense markets. Is developing unmanned aerial refueling and other UAV systems. 
  • API Technologies (ATNY:NASDAQ) - Provides UAVs, aiming systems and secure communications products to defense and industry.
  • AeroVironment (AVAV:NASDAQ) - designs, develops, produces and supports a portfolio of unmanned aircraft systems. 
  • BAE Systems (BA/:LON) - a UK-based global defense provider with a marine and unmanned aerial vehicle division.
  • CAE Inc (CAE:TSE) - a Canadian company that provides pilot simulation and modeling to the civil aviation and defense forces worldwide.
  • Dassault Aviation (AM:FP) - a French aircraft manufacturer which also makes UAVs and other systems and components for UAVs for the military.
  • Elbit Systems Ltd (ESLT:NASDAQ) - an Israeli-based international defense and electronics company with a line of unmanned land, naval and aerial systems.
  • European Aeronautic Defense and Space (EADS:IX) - an aerospace conglomerate with a group providing robotic space vehicles, UAVs and UA Copters.
  • Exponent, Inc. (EXPO:NASDAQ) - a science and engineering consulting firm that designs UAV communications and complete systems. 
  • Finmeccanica Spa (FINMF:PINK) - an Italian military/aerospace conglomerate with a series of unmanned robotic surveillance devices.
  • FLIR Systems, Inc. (FLIR:NASDAQ) - a designer, manufacturer and marketer of thermal imaging systems. 
  • General Dynamics (GD:NYSE) - an aerospace defense conglomerate with a Robotics Systems line of products. 
  • Honeywell International (HON:NYSE) - a diversified technology and manufacturing company that makes accelerometers, MAVs and force sensors.
  • Inrob Tech, Ltd. (IRBL:PINK) - an Israeli provider of engineering and services to the military for UVRs.
  • iRobot Corp (IRBT:NASDAQ) - Packbots, SUGVs, Warriors and Seagliders from iRobot's Defense & Security division.
  • ITT Exelis (XLS:NYSE) - a provider of command, control, UAV communications and other secure systems to the military.
  • L3 Communications (LLL:NYSE) - Has an Unmanned Systems division and manufactures small UAS and component parts and secure communications systems.
  • Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT:NYSE) - an aerospace and security conglomerate with a full range of unmanned aerial and underwater products as well as exoskeletons and other robotic systems.
  • MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) (MDA:TSE) - a Canadian provider of secure communications systems including space and unmanned robotics systems and UAVs.
  • Moog Inc. (MOG.A:NYSE) - a designer, manufacturer and integrator of precision motion control systems and sensors for aerospace and defense.
  • Northrop Grumman Corp (NOC:NYSE) - provides products, services and integrated solutions in aerospace and defense. Unmanned aerial, underwater and land vehicles as well as bomb disposal robots are just a part of a wide range of robotic products and services.
  • QinetiQ Group PLC (QQ/:LON) - a UK-based science and technology research company working closely with the British Government for defense research. Makes competing robotics products to iRobot.
  • Raytheon Company (RTN:NYSE) - a technology company specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets. Robot snakes, arms and exoskeletons and an unmanned aircraft systems framework are just a few of their robotic products.
  • Rockwell Collins (COL:NYSE) - a provider of optics, navigation and guidance systems and controls for unmanned military vehicles of all types.
  • Teledyne Technologies Inc (TDY:NYSE) - provides electronic subsystems, instrumentation and digital imaging for marine and environmental applications for aerospace and defense systems.
  • Textron Inc. (TXT:NYSE) - UAVs and unmanned copters and systems integration of different vendor's robots and devices.
  • Thales Group (THLEF:PINK) - a French military conglomerate that produces camcopters and other UAVs as well as their secure communications systems.
  • The Boeing Company (BA:NYSE) - an aerospace company with a defense and security division that makes UAVS and support systems.
  • United Technologies (NYSE:UTX) - an aerospace conglomerate that produces autopilot systems for UAVs.
In 2010 I wrote an op-ed piece about the military/industrial complex and quoted from a Time Magazine series of articles about Pres. Dwight Eisenhower -- who became famous for this quote:
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
The Eisenhower quote, and what I wrote in 2010, are just as appropriate today as we sit on the cusp of allowing potential spy drones into our civilian airspace along with all the good that commercial aerial robots can also provide. It was in 2009 that Hong Kong police began arresting burglars who were casing prospective condos to rob by sending camera-studded aerial drones up to the windows for a look-see.