Showcasing emerging drone technology at the DXC Technology 600

DXC-drone-team-with-green-flag-at-DXC-Technology-600-race

The DXC Technology 600 was held on Saturday, June 9, under the lights of the Texas Motor Speedway. Scott Dixon took the checkered flag even though about 3,000 local DXC employees, clients, family, and friends were cheering for the DXC-sponsored car, driven by Simon Pagenaud, who finished 2nd. But this race had a lot more to offer than just car racing. As the title sponsor, DXC Technology had the opportunity to showcase some interesting technology at the event.

DXC Labs director Sam Johnston brought some examples of the innovative technology DXC is using to develop new solutions. DXC Labs has focused their efforts on several key topics to develop emerging technologies such as drones, robots, 3D printing, computer vision and voice, artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, and internet of things.  The tech focus for the IndyCar race at Texas Motor Speedway this event was drones, AI and 3D printing to support the racing and automotive theme.

In addition to using a commercial drone to deliver the green flag to DXC CTO Dan Hushon to start the race, we built a custom drone with voice-control capabilities supported in the cloud, added a machine learning camera to identify objects and faces in its view, captured 360 degree “drones-eye-view” video of what the drivers see, and constructed a 3D model of the track from around 1,000 high resolution photos taken overhead by a computer-controlled drone.

The DXC voice activated drone Johnston was operating leverages technology from what3words, which has assigned a three-word address to every 3m x 3m square (about 10’x 10’ for us non-metric types) on a grid of 57 trillion squares around the globe.

Every spot on the planet has a three-word address. For example, the general address at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) is “accuses.debacles.oversight.”  So, if I was sending a package by drone from our DXC Plano office (bagels.unique.dwarves) to the Speedway, the service would let me speak the name of the location or the address and, off goes my package for delivery.  But the service is incredibly precise, so I could even have the package delivered directly to my seat at the track by saying “plaster.perks.shape.”  The service even covers places with no roads.

What3words was an initial participant in a project backed by companies such as DXC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Porsche, BASF, ZF and DHL, called Startup Autobahn. The effort offers funding, office space, networking, and support services such as mentoring for a cohort of startups during a 100-day program.

What3words’ technology has many use cases. In particular, it can be useful for emergencies, rescues and locations with limited access. DXC leverages the address system for navigating drones. Routes can even be calculated that take into account air restrictions, which are then provided to the drone through an API.

Delivering the green flag to the starting line of the DXC Technology 600 was a first in history.  Perfecting the technology, as well as meeting FAA, national and local requirements, licensing and training, had to occur for this history making flight.  This is just another example of how DXC helps clients better understand emerging technologies and showcase the potential to add real business value.


Linda Laer headshotLinda Laer is a Content Marketing and Communications manager for DXC, focused on bringing new perspectives and thought leadership to DXC offering and industry families. Linda has previously served in multiple roles including product management, event marketing, and account management.

Trackbacks

  1. […] In addition to using a commercial drone to deliver the green flag, we built a custom drone with voice- and mind-control capabilities. Our voice-activated drone uses technology from what3words to provide precise location directions to within three square meters, anywhere in the world. This means the drone operator can give a voice command using a pre-defined three-word identifier, such as “accuses.debacles.oversight” (one such identifier at Texas Motor Speedway), that will send the drone to a specific location. Our use of what3words to operate a voice-controlled drone last year was another first. (Learn more.) […]

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