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RealNetworks wins facial recognition and AI analytics contract with US Air Force

RealNetworks wins facial recognition and AI analytics contract with US Air Force

Safr from RealNetworks has earned its third Small Business Research Innovation (SBIR) deal from the United States Air Force (USAF) to enable the extension of Safr AI-powered analytics, including facial recognition, to unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs). The UGVs would be used to reduce risks in perimeter protection and domestic emergency medical services (EMS) search and rescue missions.

In a news release, the company said the contract will help improve its platform to be able to operate on an NVIDIA Jetson AGX Xavier-based UGV system, with the goal of reducing the risk service members face as the Safr-enhanced UGVs will be able to detect unauthorized persons in restricted areas with face biometrics.

“As a USAF military working dog handler, I have employed canines in various environments fulfilling the multi-use role of detection and deterrence. The ability to utilize UGV systems to augment K9 teams during work/rest cycles, or as an additional force, broadens security in-depth and allows operations to continue unhindered,” said Air Force Technical Sergeant Dustin Cain, Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of Police Services, 366th Security Forces Squadron, Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho.

For scenarios such as searches for survivors in collapsed or shaky buildings, the robotic device could locate persons using Safr’s body detection capabilities, providing real-time alerts and access route details to speed up extraction, greatly reducing the risk for responders.

The platform can provide post-patrol reports in environments without network, and could stream intel in real-time in degraded network areas.

“We see this as an incredible opportunity to demonstrate how AI is a force multiplier and can be used to reduce risk to security forces and emergency responders,” Eric Hess, senior product manager at Safr, said. “The UGV platform equipped with SAFR AI represents the future of embedded device operations and computer vision for an emerging range of robotic systems.”

Safr received $1.9 million from the USAF in 2020 to develop its real-time facial recognition for force protection, perimeter security and secure access control.

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