Santa Monica, Calif.-based DreamHammer Inc. said it has launched a beta version of its Ballista software, which is designed to control robotics and unmanned drones from multiple manufacturers.
Ballista is the first commercially available control software that "integrates unrelated unmanned drones and robots from different manufacturers into one system," the company said in a news release.
"When applied to different industries—for example, transportation, logistics, agriculture, law enforcement, etc.—Ballista can be used to link multiple drones into one master system, all controlled by one person," DreamHammer CEO Nelson Paez said.
"A drone could be as simple as a farm tractor or as complicated as an autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle or a satellite. It can be anything with a computer interface that is leveraging intelligence, technology and diversified control."
Paez noted that managing multiple drones is a unique challenge, because each drone type has proprietary control systems. Some unmanned systems require as many as 200 people to manage a single drone.
The DreamHammer software enables a single user to manage multiple drones simultaneously.
"In the past, anyone wanting a unified system had to develop the actual drone hardware," Paez said. "Ballista allows government or commercial customers to link together machines from numerous developers performing a variety of tasks."
DreamHammer, which reported revenues of $6 million last year, said it has been licensing alpha and beta versions of its software to the U.S. military "and intelligence customers" since August 2011.
In a prelude to a general commercial release, DreamHammer said it is making its Ballista software available to drone and robot manufacturers and developers.
"Ballista is built on an open, versatile and all-encompassing software platform that allows for autonomous and simultaneous control of multiple unmanned vehicles across all domains-space, air, sea and land-and can be run from nearly any computer including a tablet or a phone," according to the company.
"Ballista includes an easy-to-use, robust software-development kit that can be licensed by developers to integrate their drones, robots and third-party apps. Pricing depends on the end use."