Area companies among those presenting at Tech Showcase
© Copyright 2016 Claremore Daily Progress
BROKEN ARROW — When U.S. soldiers in hostile territory suspect the road ahead is booby-trapped with improvised explosive devices, they can turn to innovative technology developed by an Oklahoma company to ensure their safety.
Curtis Sprague, with Broken Arrow’s Tactical Electronics, told an attentive audience last Wednesday — at the annual Oklahoma Technology Showcase hosted by Northeastern State University and OCAST — how soldiers can save lives by using the company’s technology to defeat explosive devices.
The Sire remote controlled robot is designed to carry its own explosive payload up to the suspected device and blow it up. The robot is so light and compact that three of them will fit in a soldier’s backpack.
“The military had a very specific need for a robot that they could put explosives in, send down range and detonate,” said Sprague. “It’s very cheap compared to other robotic systems because it’s designed to be destroyed.”
Tactical Electronics, which employs about 80 people from its Broken Arrow headquarters, was one of six innovative Oklahoma companies that made presentations at Wednesday’s Tech Showcase.
The Tech Showcase audience also heard presentations from Pryor’s HE&M Saw; Optecks and Synercon, both of Tulsa; Spiers New Technologies from Oklahoma City; and Amethyst Research Inc. of Ardmore. The event was sponsored by the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST).
“These innovative companies and the research that drives them demonstrate how diverse Oklahoma’s economy is, even in a prolonged energy industry downturn,” said C. Michael Carolina, OCAST executive director. “We are proud of the innovations showcased here today, because they are examples of the enterprising nature of Oklahoma entrepreneurs.”
In addition to company presentations, a special unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) competition by area high schools was conducted in the atrium of the administration building on the NEO campus.
Two OCAST Impact Awards were presented during a noon luncheon, honoring Dr. Brenda Rolls with Frontier Electronics in Stillwater and Phil B. Albert of Pelco Structural, LLC of Claremore. Keynote speakers at the luncheon were Scott Goodwin, with Flight Safety International, and Steve Hahn with AT&T.
Rajitha Dissanayake, an engineer with Pryor’s HE&M Saw, described how technology has become a key element of the manufacturing industry. HE&M makes 70 different models of steel cutting band saws that are used by the petroleum, agriculture, automotive and steel industries.