ZeroEyes has received the Direct-to-Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the US Department of Air Force’s (DAF) innovation arm AFWERX.

Valued at approximately $1.25m, the latest award is the third US Air Force’s (USAF) SBIR grant awarded to the company this year.

Under the award, the company will fit the existing uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) with its artificial intelligence (AI)-based gun detection technology.

The UAVs are based at Dover Air Force Base (AFB) in Delaware, US.

Once equipped, the AI gun detection system will allow the UAV to use its camera to detect the gun as soon as it is visible.

The screenshots of identified weapon will be sent to a weapons expert deployed at an operations centre.

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After final confirmation from the expert, the UAV will trigger a response using its sensors, electronic transmitters and target designators. The entire process takes around three to five seconds.

Dover AFB chief innovation officer captain Nicholas Martini said: “A quarter of active shootings take place on government property, and we will take every step possible to protect our airmen.

“ZeroEyes’ technology not only provides another layer of security; it will also enable us to reduce our investment in security personnel and use our manpower for more mission-critical tasks.”

The gun detection solution integrates machine learning (ML) software with the internet protocol (IP) security cameras to identify the gun before the first shot is fired.

Earlier this year, the company received a $1.2m grant to integrate this gun detection solution at Minot AFB.

ZeroEyes also secured a grant to provide drone-robot-enabled active shooter deterrence (DRASD) deployments at Ellsworth AFB.