The University of Nebraska Lincoln’s Carrick Detweiler has been elected a senior member of the National Academy of Inventors.
NAI’s Senior Member Program recognizes early-stage innovators and inventors whose success in patents, licensing, and commercialization can have a positive impact on social well-being. Senior members are becoming leaders in areas where their work is gaining momentum towards key achievements in innovation. Each member holds a licensed or commercialized US patent and / or five or more issued US patents.
Detweiler, associate professor of computer science and engineering Susan J. Rosowski, is the second hasker since NAI founded the program in 2018. The first was George Burba, a part-time lecturer at the Faculty of Natural Resources.
Detweiler is a nationally recognized expert in research and technology focused on using drone systems to enable a safer and less costly approach to combating wildfires. He is the co-founder and co-director of the Nebraska Intelligent MoBile Unmanned Systems Lab (NIMBUS), which integrates the latest developments in software and system engineering, robots and sensor networks to develop drones that interact with the environment. To commercialize his work at the university, Detweiler co-founded Drone Amplified in 2015 and is the CEO for it.
Through its signature product, IGNIS, the company helps federal, state, and local agencies reduce the risk of fire. This is a drone-based system that allows remote ignition of controlled burns.
According to Detwyler, he is excited to receive this honor from NAI. It’s nice to see our research, which began as an idea at the NIMBUS Lab, evolved into a company and product that is now helping firefighters save their lives.
IGNIS uses ping-pong sphere-sized chemical spheres to control wildfires by setting fire to areas identified as high-risk and depriving them of the fuel needed to spread them. This approach keeps firefighters safe outside the fire, unlike traditional methods of sending firefighters inside by helicopter, all-terrain vehicle, or truck, sometimes at night or in smoke.
This system is less costly than the traditional approach. According to a USDA study, using an IGNIS drone for fire protection costs about $ 1,800 per day, while traditional methods using manned helicopters add up to $ 16,000 per day.
Bob Wilhelm, Deputy Prime Minister of Research and Economic Development, said he was thrilled that the National Academy of Inventors was celebrating Carix’s groundbreaking research in the development of drone systems to support firefighters across the country. It was. To understand the potential for Carix to have a positive impact on society, just look at the news. Last year, his technology helped Colorado authorities fight the biggest fire in the state’s history, and we look forward to seeing the larger consequences of his work in the future. ..
NUtech Ventures, a non-profit technology commercialization company at the university, has patented Detweilers’ research and provided a license to use Drone Amplified’s intellectual property. These licenses, whether granted to start-ups or existing companies, pave the way for continued research and development and ultimately lead to products or services that are available for sale.
Carricks is working with Drone Amplified to illustrate the goal of technology commercialization that can move innovation from the lab to the market and benefit society, said Brad Roth, executive director of NUtechs. Appointing Carrick as a NAI Senior Member recognizes his innovative research and successful business journey. He and the Drone Amplified team have adapted to understand the customer’s problem and provide a solution. By putting this technology in the hands of the fire team, they are helping transform the industry.
Detweilers’ work is just one way Nebraska researchers are focusing on climate resilience. The hotter and drier conditions caused by climate change contributed to the increased frequency and severity of wildfires. In 2020, US wildfires burned an estimated 10.27 million acres. , And the total damage was $ 16.5 billion. As these trends continue, innovative methods of fire management are important.
Detweiler, a faculty fellow at the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute and the University’s Center for Public Policy, holds three patents on technologies related to IGNIS, two of which are licensed or commercialized. He leads projects funded by USDA, the US Science Foundation, and the Department of Defense, aiming to develop systems and software that allow drones to interact with water, fire, and crops. In 2016, he received the Edgerton Innovation Award from the Faculty of Engineering for his academic research and creative activities. In 2019, NUtech Ventures was awarded the Drone Amplified Startup Company of the Year Award.
NAI honors Detweiler at its 10th Annual Meeting, scheduled from October 31st to November. 3 Tampa, Florida. Detweiler is one of the 63 newly elected senior members this year.
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