It has been said that the recent major technological revolutions have been to first, connect cities to cities (railroad, roads, airplanes), then connect people to people (telephone, radio, TV, satellite communications, Internet, Facebook) and more recently, connect people to systems (car drivers to GPS, ships to AIS, cultivators to UAV).
These systems are increasingly intelligent, with the ability to fulfill a task or a mission with little or no human intervention. The human operator becomes a remote observer that provides only high-level directives. Many of these systems are mobile vehicles whose dynamic motion needs to be controlled safely and accurately in its operational – sometimes poorly known, sometimes unpredictable – environment.
As exemplified by the autonomous cars, unmanned aerial vehicles, CubeSat and fly-by-wire aircraft, the miniaturisation of equipment, the reduction in the cost of hardware, the increasing sophistication of algorithms and the expanding computing capabilities of microcomputers have contributed to the exponential growth of intelligent mobile systems.
NGC’s vision is to become a leading provider of the innovative and enabling technologies that are critical to the realisation of the third technological revolution: developing intelligent systems for the benefit of people.