July 25, 2018 2:15 pm

Edmonton airport perimeters will soon be patrolled by autonomous vehicle

The Edmonton International Airport has a new vehicle patrolling its perimeter, an autonomous ATV.

Supplied: Edmonton International Airport

It might look like an ATV that you may want to take out to the trails, but the new vehicle at the Edmonton International Airport (EIA) is anything but your typical all terrain vehicle.

The Alberta Centre for Advanced Microprocessor and Nanotechnology Products (ACAMP) and the EIA have developed an automated ATV to patrol the perimeter of the airport property.

The unarmed vehicle is remotely controlled by humans, but can also drive autonomosly and incorporates machine-learning to be able to perform its tasks.

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“Safety and security is our number one priority at EIA and the autonomous ATV security vehicle will enhance our patrol of the perimeter fencing that secures the 7,000 acres of land at our airport,” said Steve Maybee, EIA’s vice-president of Operations and Infrastructure, in a news release.

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The vehicle is part of a larger effort to foster innovation and partnerships between the “Airport City’s” technology and aerospace companies, he added.

The vehicle’s system can recognize animals and humans and includes navigation, path planning, obstacle avoidance, geo-fencing and more. The patrols will focus on identfying damage to the chain link fence that surrounds the airport, making sure the barbed wire is taut and undamaged and looking for holes or gaps under the fence.

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“The partnership with EIA has helped us build a customizable platform that uses the latest in artificial intelligence, telematics, communications and other technologies that has application worldwide,” said Rosy Amlani, ACAMP’s CFO and vice-president of Business Development.

According to the EIA, the airport and ACAMP use techonologies by consortium members to construct and test the vehicle to get it ready for regular use at the airport.

This isn’t the first type of robotic technology the airport has used to keep passengers safe. In June 2017, the EIA became the first international airport in the world to use robotic birds to keep real birds away from runways.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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