The Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN) announced Ashima Devices, a Pasadena-based company known for its breakthrough research in advanced autonomous aerial vehicles, will be moving its headquarters and opening a research, testing and assembly facility in Reno, Nevada. This relocation is expected to bring up to 400 quality jobs to the area.
Ashima Devices Vice President, Larry B. Lambert credited Governor Sandoval’s Office of Economic Development and the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN) with tipping the scales toward Nevada. “Nevada’s can-do attitude combined with a willing and ready workforce of educated, quality people who are interested in being part of the unmanned aerial vehicle revolution made it a perfect place to expand.” Chief Executive Officer, Mark Richardson, a former Cal-Tech professor who also currently serves as a co-investigator on the Mars Science Laboratory Rover program said, “We’re excited to be opening this new facility in Reno and in working with the University of Nevada collaboratively on upcoming projects that will help students hone their skills in conjunction with Ashima Devices and better prepare them for their entry into occupational fields focused on advanced robotics systems and control, computing sensing and communication systems and in the burgeoning field of UAV’s.
As increasingly sophisticated systems become available, unmanned aerial vehicles will come to be viewed as industrial tools, and not simply extensions of military programs. Six electrically powered ducted fan (jet) engines, encased in the small aircraft’s fuselage, propel the Ashima’s UAV’s that appear to be something between a Frisbee and a hockey puck. They are ‘finger safe’, making them literally the safest UAV to handle on the planet. The unique engine design provides safe, powerful, and eco-friendly propulsion. Advanced sensors provide HAZMAT responders the ability to know what hazardous materials they are encountering and in what concentration before sending people into harm’s way. Ashima Devices will complete testing and begin selling ground penetrating radar systems that will fly on its UAV’s in 2015. Saving lives threatened by improvised explosive devices and landmines worldwide will the change the nature of sweeping for explosive mines, separating the sweeper in distance from explosives while providing a far more accurate view of the object. The device is also anticipated to help law enforcement search for evidentiary objects that have been concealed underground.
“What an exciting day for Northern Nevada”, said, Mike Kazmierski, CEO of EDAWN. “Ashima Devices is a great company that has tremendous potential and their decision to grow in Nevada is a testament to the many advantages this region has for the rapidly growing autonomous systems industry. Nevada’s selection as one of just six FAA UAV test sites nationally has stimulated interest in the state and we believe that Ashima Devices is just the start of that industry growth in the region,” he said.
Ashima Devices began its corporate life in 2011 as a merging of NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory Scientists, professors from the California Institute of Technology, military special forces officers and law enforcement personnel, who focused on robust, affordable, autonomous, short-range, unmanned small aerial vehicles.
About EDAWN: The Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada is a private/ public partnership established in 1983 committed to recruiting, expanding and supporting newly forming quality companies that bring jobs to the region and have a positive impact on the quality of life in Greater Reno-Sparks-Tahoe.
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