Shield AI, Sentient Vision Systems Combination Augments Defense Sensing

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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 17, 2024 — Defense technology company Shield AI has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Sentient Vision Systems. The Australia-based developer of AI-enabled real-time situational awareness previously introduced a visual detection and ranging (vidar)-enabled wide area motion imagery solution, called “Sentient Observer,” which Shield AI plans to fly this year. Sentient’s vidar system uses an electro-optic or infrared sensor to detect and classify targets in the imagery stream that would be invisible to a human operator or to a conventional radar.

"The [Department of Defense] (DOD) has asked for an all-seeing eye over tens of thousands of square miles, 24/7, without the need for GPS or communication links. For Shield AI, Sentient Observer is the final piece of that puzzle," said Brandon Tseng, president and co-founder of Shield AI.

"The DOD can begin augmenting and replacing their legacy solutions for a distributed, low cost, low risk solution that doesn’t break the bank if an aircraft is shot down,” he said.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. The companies plan to merge AI and operational understanding to deliver intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.
Sentient Vision Systems’ vidar system. Courtesy of Shield AI.
Sentient Vision Systems’ vidar system. Courtesy of Shield AI.
The acquisition agreement comes after the companies agreed last year to jointly develop Sentient Observer. This solution will now join Shield’s flagship, Hivemind, an aircraft-agnostic autonomy stack similar to self-driving technology. To date, Hivemind has flown six aircraft, including quadcopters, the MQ-35A V-BAT, the F-16, and Kratos MQM-178 Firejet. It is planned to fly Kratos’ XQ-58 Valkyrie later this year.

Published: April 2024
BusinessacquisitionsagreementsViDARAIImagingdefenseAmericasAsia-PacificShield AISentient Image Systems

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