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Autonomous Solutions will be at the 2016 MINExpo in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, .

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The 2016 Robotics Business Review logo

Autonomous Solutions, Inc. (ASI) has been elected to Robotics Business Review (RBR) fifth annual RBR50 list for the second straight year. ASI has been recognized as one of the most noteworthy companies in the global robotics industry for 2016 alongside robotic giants like Google, FANUC, and Foxconn.

RBR50 companies are recognized based on their innovation, groundbreaking applications, commercial success and potential, and represent many different levels and facets of the robotics ecosystem.

“We are thrilled to be elected to the RBR50 for a second year in a row. After 15 years in business the technology readiness and customer demand are finally converging for what looks to be an exponential adoption curve,” says Mel Torrie, ASI founder and CEO. “We have seen more demand in the last 18 months than we’ve seen in the previous 15 years and we’re fortunate to have assembled the needed productization team to complement our research capability. We could not have accomplished this organic growth without patient and forward looking early adopter partners and we are thankful for their support.”

ASI’s hardware and software robotic building blocks are used in productizing driverless ground vehicle systems for applications like mining, agriculture, cleaning, security, and automotive. Customers are starting to realize the benefits of this technology including higher safety, dramatically lower maintenance costs, and maximum productivity. Thanks to the downward trend of sensor and processor costs the return on investment is getting higher and faster.

ASI has a very busy 2016 ahead of it according to Jared Pratt, Vice President of Business Development. Pratt says the interest for this kind of technology is only growing. “There is so much opportunity right in front of us in some of our larger industries that we could see the need for doubling our staff of 100 plus just to keep up.”

“There is so much opportunity right in front of us in some of our larger industries that we could see the need for doubling our staff of 100 plus just to keep up.”

With the robotics industry becoming more competitive than ever, new innovations, technologies, and companies are emerging faster than ever. The RBR50 list outlines those companies who should be kept on your business radar.

This international compilation spans 11 countries and in addition to the large conglomerates, 23% of the list is comprised of lesser-known startups. The RBR50 list is dynamic, with robotics companies entering and leaving on an annual basis and thus creating a list that is indicative of where the global robotics industry as a whole is headed. “The World Economic Forum cites 2016 as the launch of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and has tabbed robotics as the lead player in that transformation. Each of the RBR50 for 2016 should be duly proud that the robotics community has selected them to lead this charge,” said Tom Green, RBR Editor in Chief.

About Autonomous Solutions, Inc.

For more than 15 years, ASI has been a world leader in unmanned ground vehicle solutions. From our northern Utah headquarters, ASI serves clients around the world in the mining, agriculture, automotive, military, and manufacturing industries with remote control, teleoperated, and fully automated, coordinated multi-vehicle solutions. ASI's universal, OEM-independent technology allows organizations to improve productivity, enhance safety, reduce costs, and increase accuracy. For more information visit www.asirobots.com.

About Robotics Business Review

Robotics Business Review provides business intelligence for the global robotics industry. Members enjoy excusive insights into global news, tracking of financial transactions, analysis of new technologies and companies, annual and quarterly research reports, access to the RBR50 Top 50 Companies list and much more. Visit RoboticsBusinessReview.com.

The Robo Universe Logo

ASI was recently a participant and sponsor of the RoboUniverse robotics conference in San Diego, California. Autonomous Solutions, Inc.’s (ASI) CEO, Mel Torrie, was a keynote speaker and a panel member sharing insights into the robotics world. Mr. Torrie discussed many of the successes and advancements that ASI has made in the robotics industry in autonomy. He also presented about many of the challenges facing the industry and some of the paths ASI is heading down.

"We’re going to get to a place where our #trees have #wearable technology like our bodies," says @RobotCEO.

As sensor technologies continue to develop, the cost of these sensors will decrease making them more and more cost efficient and more applicable. These sensors could be placed on trees, vines, or in the ground in areas to measure all kinds of important environmental information. This information could be monitored and relayed to an autonomous vehicle that would be tasked to perform a specific action for that specific area.

"Scalability will be limited by serviceability - service and support is critical." @RobotCEO

For autonomous vehicles to really move into many various facets of everyday life, scalability will be limited by serviceability. Diagnostics must be reliable and quick to identify any potential issues a system may encounter - then be able to get someone on it quickly to correct the problem.

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Photos © 2015 RoboUniverse Staff

ASI co-founder and CEO, Mel Torrie, speaking at the 2015 RISE Tech Conference in Hong Kong.

2015 has been a busy year for ASI.

ASI is pleased to announce that co-founder and CEO, Mel Torrie will be the Keynote speaker at the 1st World Congress of Robotics in Shenyang, China. Focus will be given to keys to success in fielding robotics and lessons that ASI has learned over its 15 years of automating vehicles in industries like mining, agriculture, automotive, and industrial automation.

It has been a busy speaking year for Mr. Torrie, giving presentations at conferences around the world including events in Australia, Germany, China, South Africa, and the UK. Most recently, Mr. Torrie spoke at the RISE tech conference in Hong Kong and he is scheduled to speak in Russia and Egypt before the end of the year.

“There are amazing things happening in the driverless vehicle industry and it is thrilling to visit with people around the world in how we can bring this disruption to a reality”

Be sure to touch base with Mel if you are able to attend one of the upcoming events.
Mel Torrie will be speaking at the 1st World Congress of Robotics in the Shenyang International Exhibition Center at

A 2014 Ford Transit Van drives on a proving ground in MichiganASI's robotic durability testing technology helps Ford perform test events that are too taxing for human drivers. Recent talks have shown the European automotive market is also highly interested in proving ground automation.

Members of ASI's sales and product development teams recently returned from attending the Automotive Testing Expo 2014 Europe held in Stuttgart, Germany. Testing engineers and OEMs from all over the world gather at the Europe Expo to discuss the latest technologies that will make automotive testing safer and more efficient. ASI representatives were able to establish relationships with European-based OEMs that are looking to vehicle robotics as a testing solution and identify key technology trends in the automotive industry.

The following discusses some of the industry trends ASI representatives discovered at the Expo and how these trends impact proving ground automation.

Impact of Emissions Regulations.

In past years, manual transmissions dominated the European vehicle market due to lower production cost and higher fuel efficiency. However, as European countries sharpen their focus on reducing vehicle emissions (in the form of severe fines for noncompliance), OEMs are responding by producing more vehicles with automatic transmissions which allow the OEMs greater control over shifting and fuel consumption.

This is good news for ASI's vehicle automation technologies that are highly effectively with automatic transmissions.

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ASI's exhibit at one of the largest unmanned vehicle conferences in the world attracted robotics enthusiasts from multiple industries to see the latest in vehicle automation technology.

Business development personnel from Autonomous Solutions, Inc. returned this past week from a sunny Orlando, Florida, where AUVSI recently concluded its Unmanned Systems 2014 conference. The booth at this year's AUVSI proved to be one of ASI's most impactful exhibits to date and included a wide variety of videos, new products, vehicles, and even a concept command center.

Vehicle Control Unit

ASI's booth highlighted the launch of a new vehicle control unit (VCU). The VCU is the onboard computer in an autonomous vehicle that manages critical vehicle functions like positioning, transmission, acceleration, brake, and steering, while also relaying vehicle health data to the remote operator.

The new design has improvements in size, weight, and computing power over previous models and now houses the software pieces that control autonomy and obstacle avoidance. The new VCU design will soon be adopted into ASI's vehicle automation offerings across all industries.


Released during last year's AUVSI conference, the Forge robotic platform was back again, this time with a massive gripper attachment capable of retrieving and manipulating barrels, trees, and other large objects.

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ASI's robotic Ford Escape was featured at July's Cache Valley Robotics Fair. The event is one of the only places in the world to get a ride in a fully autonomous vehicle.

Amid years of rich aviation history displayed at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon, the Precision Farming Expo (PFE) held its second annual meeting. The conference agenda included presentations on issues and trends in agriculture, and growers came from as far away as California and Canada to explore an international lineup of emerging technologies in the exhibit hall.

Making its first appearance in the rich orchard and vineyard region of the Pacific Northwest, ASI's Forge showed growers the benefits of farming robotics.

"It was great to meet growers and hear their concerns," said Matt Droter, Product Owner for ASI. "They're interested in seeing our technology work and discussing how it can help them." Many attendees were familiar with the precision agriculture technologies in current OEM vehicles but were excited to see robotics making headway.

"People didn't know or were even surprised to find out that we have the capability of running driverless," said Droter. "One grower said his biggest challenge was spraying 1500 miles of orchards in five days at two miles per hour. That's a fairly common scenario, particularly in specialty crops, and it's something that can be done robotically."

Mel Torrie, ASI’s President and CEO, gave one of the keynote presentations in the Evergreen Museum's IMAX theater. His session "Changing Gears: How Robotics is Revolutionizing the Way We Grow," gave growers a window into how farming automation is already making positive impacts on efficiency, safety, and yields.

"Most people are surprised when we tell them that we have driverless vehicles out doing productive work for farmers today. Our customers are already coming up with new ways to leverage robotic technology to gather data and change how they grow their crops."

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ASI's booth at the SME 2014 Annual Meeting featured the Forecast® 3D laser and a miniature haul truck demo to show visitors how automated vehicles interact in a mine.

In late February, ASI joined 500+ exhibitors and more than 6500 attendees at the Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City, Utah, for the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME) annual meeting.

Members of ASI's mining team, as well as sales and marketing staff participated in the exhibit hall and technical sessions, including a session dedicated to the Bingham Canyon Mine cleanup efforts. Kennecott operators have been using ASI automated excavators since about June 2013 to remove debris from the most dangerous locations on the slide area.

Command & Control
Visitors to ASI's exhibit booth found a miniaturized display of a load/dump cycle that is being developed for mines internationally. The miniature dump trucks, controlled by Mobius, rolled around a small track to demonstrate how robotic mining equipment can perform complex tasks and interact with other automated vehicles.

"It's difficult to give people at an expo the immersive experience they need to see how our software works," said Dru Brown, ASI's Event Coordinator.

"We wanted to give people something a little more tangible; something that would help them draw the connection to what this system looks like and how it works in an authentic mining environment."

With the risk of falling debris, landslides, and other large equipment, safety remains a major issue for an industry that is considered one of the world's most dangerous.

To combat these challenges, every vehicle that ASI automates is equipped with several safety layers from sensors to software.

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ASI's Forge™ robotic platform stole the show in Tulare as it rolled through a mock orchard to demonstrate autonomous spraying for orchard and vineyard applications.

Largest Tradeshow to Date

On February 11-13, marketing and sales representatives opened what would be Autonomous Solutions' (ASI) largest tradeshow presence to date at the World Ag Expo in Tulare, California.

Located in California's Central Valley, the World Ag Expo is one of the premier events in the farming industry, and draws the attention of many local specialty crop growers. The annual expo reports attendance in excess of 100,000 to see more than 60 acres of exhibits and is a frequent stop for political figures and major growing operations. ASI's 40' x 320' booth space featured a 40' exhibit and a 272' mock orchard to demonstrate robotic farming in action.

"We wanted to make a splash," said Mel Torrie, President and CEO of ASI. "Our roots are in farming all the way back to the inception of ASI fourteen years ago, but we've historically developed for the large OEMs which required us to work in secrecy. Our recent products are a very good fit for specialty crops like nuts, vineyards, citrus, and berries. We wanted to tell that story in a big way."

ASI's booth also featured an exhibit by AGGIEAIR, a research division of Utah State University that focuses on farming applications for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The entire exhibit was designed to provide visitors with a panoramic view of what's currently available in automated farming.

In November 2013, ASI's President and CEO spoke in Saint Paul, MN, at Robotics Alley, an emerging initiative focused on creating a network of robotics business and research professionals. Mel's session gave attendees a quick look at strategies leading ASI to 13 years of success in a complex vehicle robotics industry. Below are some of the key points Mel shared in his presentation.

Need for Agility

In today's face-paced engineering environments, agility is simply the nature of doing business.

Customers are used to getting highly customized products with short lead times as well as providing input to the design process. Development companies must be agile to survive.

In early 2013, ASI implemented the AGILE framework for hardware and software development. AGILE breaks projects into shorter increments called sprints. At the close of each sprint, design teams demo progress to customers or management. The AGILE system helps ASI remain flexible to customer feedback and provides shorter milestones with which to track progress.

Dealing with System Complexity

Robotics is thought to be the next trillion dollar industry. However, today it is still very much an emerging field. Systems can be incredibly complex. If something goes wrong, technicians often have difficulty telling what happened, what component caused the issue, and why.

ASI uses a variety of methods to simplify robotic systems and diagnose any issues that come up.

ASI's automation kit is modular to provide flexibility and easier installation. Technicians can use onsite and remote system diagnostics and stored error logs to quickly locate the source of most issues. ASI is currently working toward new interfaces and software architectures that will simplify and improve the user experience.

Follow Them Home

When it comes to testing, there's no substitution for getting out of your house and into the field to see your products being used by customers in an actual work environment.