Software Comparison


 

What's "common" about common control anyway?

What to choose?

Kinesis, QGC, and WMI are the most well-known and adopted solutions for harsh environment, unmanned systems command and control. Understanding the pros and cons of each can help you pick the right solution for the task at hand. Read on to learn more or reach out to discuss your specific requirements.

Kinesis is an Android-based, common control app that is optimized for all tactically employed UAVs and UGVs.

Developed exclusively by Tomahawk Robotics, a US-based defense company, Kinesis is the most recent common control software on the market with the first build completed in early 2019. Kinesis has quickly reached maturity by adhering to MOSA design principles and incorporating feedback from end users spanning every branch of the US military.

New features and capabilities are added constantly by a team of engineers with backgrounds from major defense primes, Silicon Valley tech companies, and the US military. Third-party developers of AI, unmanned systems, and mission payloads can further extend the Kinesis Ecosystem through the Kinesis SDK.

Kinesis stands alone as a commercial solution built by a team of US engineers to solve the complex battlefield network of dismounted teams working collaboratively with unmanned systems and AI.

export notice: This product Is classified as EAR99
Kinesis Defense licensed UxVs, Mission Modules, and aI capabilities are ITAR controlled

QGroundControl (QGC) is an open-source software solution optimized for the command and control of UAVs. QGC software was initially developed in 2009 by Swiss-based company Auterion and is maintained and updated on a GitHub repository through a collection of various companies, academics, and individuals from all corners of the globe.

QGC is built for the MAVLink protocol which is widely used by most commercial drone manufacturers and in rare cases a ground robot company. For defense applications, QGC-Gov is a separately maintained branch for specific Blue sUAS manufacturers.

Due to the open-source nature of QGC, new features and capabilities can be added rapidly by the international community of developers although testing and robustness of new features are not guaranteed. QGC is an excellent option for operating MAVLink-based drones and/or prototyping new control methods.

export notice: This product Is classified as EAR99

Warfighter Machine Interface (WMI) is an extensible software user interface for the command and control of robotic vehicles, subsystems, and their payloads.

WMI has been in development by the US Army’s Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC) in Warren, MI since 2001. The WMI architecture was originally designed for control of small, medium, and large UGVs but has recently transitioned to support an assortment of UAVs as well.

WMI is typically installed on ruggedized Windows-based tablets, although recent efforts have ported WMI to Android. The "US Government only" development approach and general lack of availability have prohibited the broader defense industry from adopting and advancing the maturity of the software.

New features for WMI are developed exclusively by GVSC (and contracted staff) to support the latest prototyping requirements dictated by the US Army for next-gen weapons systems field experiments.

export notice: This product Is classified AS ITAR

 

full comparison AVAILABLE on desktop

 

software comparison table 3



Kinesis


QGC


WMI
User-Centric
Runs on Android EUDs
Android app built for common Nett Warrior end user devices (EUDs)
Optimized for Dismount
Built for the Nett Warrior architecture, wearable EUDs, and TAK/ATAK-based networks
Embedded User Manual
Fully featured user manual built into the software
Embedded Training Sim
Train how you fight from anywhere with on-body, fully immersive 3D training sim
     
Kinesis Sim - ships preinstalled on KxM edge devices
Multi-Domain
Teleoperation
Command and control UAVs (hovering and fixed-wing) and UGVs (rolling and walking) with video feedback
Mission Planning
Create preplanned routes, rules, and actions to be executed by the connected unmanned system(s)
Many-to-Many Control
Multiple users, connected to multiple unmanned systems, having the ability to select individual vehicles and/or payloads and collaborate between the users in real-time
Dynamic Handoff
Multiple users, connected to multiple unmanned systems, having the ability to dynamically handoff control of either the vehicles or payloads to other users on the network in real-time
Simultaneous Control
Multiple unmanned systems, connected to the same EUD at the same time with collaborative control of all vehicles and payloads from one pane of glass
     
KxM required to resolve typical networking issues encountered when combining different datalinks and unmanned systems
Cross-Architecture
Supported on Android
Unmanned systems architectures supported by the Android app alone


RAS-G IOP, MAVLink/RAS-A, TAK/ATAK COT, ROS2, and various proprietary architectures


MAVLink/RAS-A, TAK/ATAK COT


RAS-G IOP, MAVLink/RAS-A

Supported on Edge Device
Additional unmanned systems architectures supported from wearable edge devices such as KxM


Proprietary APIs/SDKs (i.e. Boston Dynamics Spot, AeroVironment Crysalis), TAK/ATAK Server, etc.

Video Rebroadcast
Re-encode unicast video from unmanned systems as multicast video and forward to connected team members over TAK/ATAK in real-time - requires KxM edge device
Advanced Networking
Unifying disparate networks of unmanned systems, having different datalinks and protocols, to create a single network of all connected unmanned systems' data and bridging it with the squad's TAK/ATAK network - requires a KxM edge device
TAK/ATAK POI Sync
Bidirectionally sync all connected unmanned systems' waypoints with TAK/ATAK POI for seamless manned-unmanned teaming (MUMT)
AI-Enhanced
AI Framework
Software structure in place on edge device to host secure Docker containers of 3rd-party's AI capabilities and protected via a license key - all controllable from the Android app
AI App Store
Growing catalog of edge device-hosted advanced capabilities such as Aided Target Recognition (AiTR), real-time video analytics, 3D mapping, autonomous behaviors/swarm control, etc.
UAV/UGV Teaming
Intelligently pair and control disparate systems and command them as a single unit (e.g. driving a ground vehicle from an aerial view that autonomously follows the ground robot to provide a "god's eye view")
Updates & Integration
Product Maturity
Formal software release schedule, test and validation approach, CI/CD automation


Two formal releases per year with all demo branches merged and validated with HIL/SIL


Unscheduled main release(s) with unknown number of UAS specific builds


Unmerged demo branches only, no scheduled public or industry partner releases

UxV Validation
Method to ensure supported unmanned systems work as expected with documented features, bugs, and supported firmware versions


All supported systems validated and sold off per release


Requires users to test their own systems


Developed for and tested at specific US Army warfighter experiments

Open Architecture
Developed to MOSA standards with open interfaces and support for 3rd party integration of unique platforms, payloads, and features through an ICD, API, or SDK
     
Kinesis SDK supports new UxVs, capabilities, payloads, Mission Modules in the Kinesis app, and AI capabilities running on KxM
Software Baseline
Leverage partners' (industry and government) investments into a single, common release for all license holders (excluding export-controlled modules, 3rd-party licensing restrictions)
Export Control
Country of Origin
Citizenship of software developers


USA


Switzerland with unknown list of international contributors


USA

EAR99/ITAR Control
Supports commercial and defense separation of unified codebase and feature sets


Yes, Kinesis segregates all software plugins and modules by a license restricting export-controlled flag


Commercial Only


ITAR Only

Optimal Common Control

Kinesis, QGC, and WMI all provide cutting-edge solutions for command and control while catering to very different use cases. Looking for "mounted" control of UGVs - WMI is a good choice. Need a flexible solution to prototype your new drone - QGC is a great place to start. However, if you need a tactically optimized command and control solution - the answer is Kinesis.

 

Still not sure? Contact us and we can discuss your specific needs.

 

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