Howard is the president of MicroPilot Inc. Howard has a degree in Electrical Engineering with an option in Computer Science and a Masters degree in Computer Science both from the University of Waterloo. Howard has been involved in the UAV industry since 1994 when he started MicroPilot. Under Howard’s leadership, MicroPilot was the first to introduce a single board, fully integrated UAV autopilot into the market, the first to introduce ultra lightweight autopilots, the first to introduce a triple redundant UAV autopilot among others. MicroPilot has continued this tradition of leadership with its recent introduction of XTENDERvalidate a requirements management tool designed specifically for UAV system integrators.
For the past 21 years, MicroPilot Inc. has been and continues to be devoted to creating safe, reliable UAV autopilots, because not only does MicroPilot care about the safety and well being of its clients, but it also believes in the dream of autonomous aviation. People think nothing of massive jets flying over their homes and cities; MicroPilot wants to be able to accomplish the same with automated drones; however, as with everything else, safety comes first.
MicroPilot is constantly improving the reliability of its autopilots and certifiable safety of its products in a number of different ways. This includes, advanced hardware and software testing and calibration; the development of simulation systems like the trueHWIL simulator, and new products like the MP21283X triple redundant autopilot. As autonomous platforms increase in complexity and the environments they operate in become more hazardous, the risks involved multiply. Communications and guidance technology is critical to enabling drones to perform their tasks in these environments, such as towns or cities, safely. With tall buildings and large concentrations of radio frequency interference, UAVs need to have robust and reliable communications and guidance systems to ensure that a safety pilot can maintain direct control or, in emergencies, enable the UAV to conduct itself safely in the event of lost communications from its operator.
There are a number of avenues available to improve the reliability and safety of autopilots and autonomous UAVs. MicroPilot has endeavoured to explore as many of these avenues as possible to cover a broad spectrum of possibilities and opportunities to improve the safety and reliability of its products for its clients, all of it leading to a bright future where drones will enable a quality of life we have never known before.