Wednesday, October 23, 2013
A decision on whether the University of Florida and the Economic Development Council of Okaloosa County will build a dedicated indoor robot vehicle testing center is expected by early 2014. UF and the EDC have been exploring building an unmanned aerial vehicle test facility just south of the college's Research and Engineering Education Facility outside Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. They've been conducting feasibility studies, needs assessments and conceptual designs for two years. Nathan Sparks, the EDC's executive director, said a decision to go forward with the project could be made in the next two to three months. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 10/22/13) The military at Tyndall Air Force Base, Eglin AFB, and the Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City, all in Florida, Camp Shelby and Stennis Space Center, both in Mississippi, all work with unmanned systems. In addition, Pensacola's Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition is internationally known for work with robotic systems and two unmanned aerial vehicles, Fire Scout and Global Hawk, are built in part in Moss Point, Miss. Background story on robitic systems, see Chapter V, Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor 2013-2014.