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Los Angeles, CA (December 12, 2006)--VICON, developer of Academy Award-winning motion capture systems, announced that the company‘s technology is being leveraged for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) studies, an important developing arena in the field of aeronautical engineering.

UAVs are already deployed to perform a variety of tasks in the place of manned vehicles and planes. Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and The Boeing Company‘s Phantom Works advanced research and development group are using VICON to examine and demonstrate algorithms needed to sustain and maintain coordinated flights and missions by an intelligent multi-unit airborne fleet.

Currently, eighteen VICON cameras are providing high-speed, high-resolution motion tracking for the project, which is being conducted with miniature quadrotors in MIT‘s Aerospace Controls Lab. This indoor flight testbed uses the real-time 3D position and orientation data captured by the VICON cameras to help stabilize and control the vehicles during flight operations.

“Here in the lab, we are using VICON to understand how you can get fully autonomous vehicles to work together and to evaluate what is needed to maintain health and maintenance for these vehicles on coordinated and sustained real-world missions in the field,” said Jonathan How, Aeronautics and Astronautics Professor at MIT. “The VICON system was chosen because the project needs a tracking system that works indoors and provides accurate and detailed measurements, such as altitude and pitch, in real time.”

The real-time performance of the VICON system has been essential because the 3D capture data is not analyzed later but used literally on the fly. The MIT team says that an extremely important property of the sensor system is that it demonstrates a very high level of robustness.

"Using the VICON system, we can accurately determine and track the location and orientation of each UAV during multi-vehicle experiments," said Mario Valenti, MIT.

The lab also benefits from rapid prototyping using VICON, with the ability to run many trials from the same setup to try out a variety of technical ideas. “We can fly our aircraft missions as many times as we want - the sky really is the limit!” Valenti said.


Academy Award®-winning VICON is the world‘s largest supplier of precision motion tracking systems, serving customers and CG animation applications in film, visual effects, computer games, and broadcast television, as well as engineering and life science industries. VICON operates in four offices worldwide, including its Los Angeles-based Entertainment headquarters, a 26,000 square-foot facility equipped with three performance capture stages for VICON‘s service company House of Moves as well as 125 VICON MX40 cameras.

VICON is the largest holding of OMG (Oxford Metrics Group - LSE: OMG), plc., a group of technology companies that produces image understanding solutions for the entertainment, defense, life science and engineering markets. Other holdings include Emmy Award®-winning 2d3 and newly founded Geospatial Vision Ltd.

VICON‘s and OMG‘s global clients include: life science leaders University of Pennsylvania, the VA Hospitals, Shriners Hospitals for Children, Titleist Golf, National Pitching Association; engineering industry leaders Ford, BMW, Airbus, Lockheed, Pratt-Whitney, NASA, Caterpillar, International Truck, and Toyota; and entertainment companies Sony Pictures Imageworks, Sony Computer Entertainment, Industrial Light and Magic, Sega, Nintendo, UbiSoft, Vivendi, Electronic Arts, Square Enix and many others. For more information about OMG and its subsidiaries, visit


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