Located in Phoenix, Arizona, Sabre Corporation was originally founded in 1977 by the Air Force’s Special Projects Office as a catalyst to provide tactical unmanned aerial systems. It was one of many firms competing for contracts to develop UAS-technology and ultimately provide unmanned air vehicles for the military. In the end, however, it won several multimillion dollar contracts to develop these systems for the military.
For the company, getting contracts from the government has been an important first step towards making a profit, but Sabre Corporation remains committed to developing products that its customers, military and civilian alike, will use. The fact is that it was the work of military members who developed many of the UAS technology elements that made this a good place to work. As a result, military personnel are part of the company’s leadership, including its president, the current CEO and a few other senior executives.
To keep this from becoming too academic, let’s talk about some of the innovations that have come out of Sabre Corporation in recent years. The first of which is the Grasbot system, which is a robotic quadruped that is able to walk on the soil or at least “get” it without having to dig it up. The system is designed to move through sand and pebbles without creating any damage to the surrounding area.
Another innovation that the company has built is the ATOC (Autonomous Ground Robot), which can operate outside of a building and identify potential taxidermy and/or anatomical specimens, to name just two functions. A couple of units of this robot are already in place at the Museum of Natural History in New York. It is also expected that the ATOC will be used by the FBI, Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies in the near future. That, of course, would mean even more UGAS technology for Sabre Corporation.
A major driver for Sabre Corporation has been the development of robotic insects, such as the OTA (Operational Tactical All-Terrain), which can stay in place and act as a scout for less-than-human human operators. The fact is that humans can’t see insects as well as insects can, and therefore we have to rely on them to act as humans’ eyes and ears. The OTA and similar robots are being used by the military in Iraq and Afghanistan, and also in the medical field.
A very interesting example of what the company has developed is the Yis, a robot that can be used to sniff out evidence at an IRS audit or criminal investigation. Of course, such technology is not necessarily limited to the IRS. For instance, the company makes robotic gesticulating aids to aid individuals with disabilities in speaking with tour guides. Additionally, there are many UGAS innovations that help support small businesses.
On the other hand, technology isn’t all that Sabre Corporation makes – there are some very techy things that the company has developed, too. One example is the Joint Assistant (two people working together), which is similar to the design of a Segway. As you might expect, this is a non-tactical robot and is more of a demonstration device than anything else. What’s more, there is a different type of robot called the Vestot, which resembles the vacuum cleaner from above, but which can also be used as a transport vehicle.
The reason why so many companies want to work with Sabre Corporation is because the company is willing to take risks, which is why they have been such successful proponents of non-tactical technology. As a result, many companies are trying to emulate Sabre Corporation’s style of technology, and that is why the company has made such a big impact over the past decade.
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