John Deere considers Mesa firm for project - East Valley Tribune: Business

John Deere considers Mesa firm for project

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Posted: Saturday, April 11, 2009 7:19 pm | Updated: 1:16 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Tractor manufacturer John Deere is considering using the real-time security video surveillance capabilities of a Mesa company for a cart-like vehicle that would provide security primarily for military patrols.

Iveda Solutions and John Deere's worldwide commercial and consumer equipment division in North Carolina are fine-tuning the security capabilities for R-Gator - a robotic vehicle that can be equipped with video surveillance.

The R-Gator, which John Deere has been working on since 2004, follows the company's precision farming concept for robotic tractors and will primarily be sold to the military for patrol missions, said Bob Norris, John Deere manager of business development for military robotic systems.

The R-Gator can be deployed along large areas of a nation's borders, on airport property or near railroads and pipelines. It can cover about 300 miles on a tank of gas and it features onboard title and zoom cameras that can view activity from up to nearly a mile away.

Iveda in Mesa is a 6-year-old company that provides real-time remote surveillance services to companies and various agencies. The company unveiled footage showing the capabilities of the R-Gator at the International Security Conference recently in Las Vegas.

"We want to show the world what we are doing," said Bryce Witcher, Iveda Solutions spokesman. "We're kind of like the Intel insider. We're supporting the technology by allowing the signal or transport of video or data to the user of the Gator. The user is getting the signal or video from the vehicle to its data center so they can see what's happening in an area that a person can't cover. It's a method similar to broadcasting to the Internet. The golf cart-like vehicle can cover acreage that is too big for people to be patrolling."

Iveda and John Deere have been discussing the video transport and hosting system for the R-Gator for the last two months after John Deere was told about Iveda by another security company, Norris said. The vehicle currently is not being mass produced, but is in the concept stages, Norris said.

"We definitely are interested in forming a relationship with Iveda Solutions," Norris said. "Right now, there is nobody else we are considering. We would use them for applications where video hosting is required."

Many of the 16,000 people who attended the International Security Conference watched video of how and where the 2,242-pound vehicle can be used, Witcher said.

Witcher said a R-Gator will cost approximately $350,000.

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