Drone programme to feature at new event

The Great Circle specialises in fields including flight training, autonomous mission management applications and mobile app development. (S)
The Great Circle specialises in fields including flight training, autonomous mission management applications and mobile app development. (S)

A Harrogate business will feature among some of the country’s best hi-tech companies tomorrow (Friday) at the launch of the Northern Robotics Network (NRN) in Salford.

The Great Circle, based on Station Parade, has created a mission planning programme which could change the way drones – or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – are used in disaster zones and search and rescue efforts.

Managing director Adam Berrington said the programme mimics the Darwininan process of evolution to learn from failure.

“Usually if a UAV fails, another one has to take its place, but our system has just one central control system for multiple UAVs, which continuously share information. If one fails the others automatically take over, so the mission gets completed without interruption.

“It could save millions of pounds, as well as lives.”

The NRN conference will highlight for the first time the work of northern SMEs in the sector that are poised to grow.

Robotics and autonomous systems is one of the UK’s ‘eight great technologies’ highlighted by David Cameron, and according to a report by McKinsey could generate a potential global economic impact of $1.9trn to $6.4trn by 2025.