Sentient Vision Systems

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Sentient Vision Systems
IndustryComputer Vision Software
HeadquartersMelbourne, Australia
ProductsAutomated Object Detection in Full Motion Video
Number of employees

Sentient Vision Systems is an Australian company headquartered in Port Melbourne, that produces automated object detection solutions[buzzword] for video from aircraft and surface sensors used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), search and rescue, and law enforcement . Sentient’s solutions[buzzword] use computer vision software to detect and track objects of interest in full motion video (FMV), both electro-optic (EO) and infrared (IR) for land and maritime environments. Sentient Vision Systems is a private company.


Sentient Vision Systems was founded by Dr Paul Boxer in 2004 to develop computer vision solutions[buzzword] with a focus on moving target indication (MTI) in video. In 2006, Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) awarded Sentient a Capability and Technology Demonstrator (CTD[1][2]) program which supported development and demonstration of the Kestrel Land MTI solution.[buzzword][3] A CTD extension and then support from Commercialisation Australia enabled further development and commercialisation, including Kestrel Maritime, an object detection solution[buzzword] for maritime environments.[3] Kestrel has been integrated on a range of manned and unmanned aircraft including the Wasp, Raven and Puma UAS's,[4] US Navy Firescout,[5][6] P3 Orion, NPAS EC135[7] and RAAF Heron.[8]

Sentient’s most recent solution[buzzword], ViDAR (Visual Detection and Ranging), was launched in 2015. ViDAR provides visual wide area search capability acting as an optical radar. ViDAR has been deployed with the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) on a ScanEagle UAS[9] and is in service with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) for search and rescue.[10][11]

In 2016, Australia’s Defence Minister, Christopher Pyne MP, congratulated Sentient for deployment of over 1,000 Kestrel systems worldwide.[12] Sentient was also referenced in the Australian Governments 2016 Defence Industry Policy Statement[13]

In June 2017, The Australian government announced a $100m contract to supply the Army with Wasp AE small UAV's including Sentient's Kestrel.[14][15]


  1. ^ "Kestral aerial surveillance system". 2014-06-27. Retrieved 2016-11-12.
  2. ^ DST Group (2014-03-22), Sentient and the CTD Program, retrieved 2017-08-14
  3. ^ a b Ferguson, Gregor (January 2012). "So what has the CTD program ever done for us" (PDF). Australian Defence Magazine.
  4. ^ "AeroVironment Secures Global Distribution Rights for Sentient's Target Detection Software for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (NASDAQ:AVAV)". Retrieved 2016-11-12.
  5. ^ Freedberg jr., Sydney J. (13 March 2015). "Teaching Drones How To See: Fire Scout & Kestrel". BreakingDefence.
  6. ^ "Sentient delivers first Kestrel for US Navy Fire Scout". Retrieved 2016-11-12.
  7. ^ "AIMS-ISR® at the Heart of New UK NPAS Mission System" (PDF).
  8. ^ "Local firm supports RAAF Heron flight". 10 November 2010.
  9. ^ McGuire, Patrick (3 October 2016). "ScanEagle soars in Christmas Island trials". Navy News AU.
  10. ^ "ViDAR for AMSA Challenger 604s". 2 December 2015.
  11. ^ Eyre, David (2016-08-07). "First Challenger 604 arrives at Perth to replace Dornier 328 on AMSA search and rescue operations". AviationWA. Retrieved 2017-08-14.
  12. ^ "Government Congratulates Sentient Vision Systems". 7 September 2015.
  13. ^ "Australian Governments 2016 Defence Industry Policy Statement" (PDF). Commonwealth of Australia. 2016.
  14. ^ Wroe, David (2017-06-01). "Army buys $100 million fleet of small drones to protect soldiers on battlefield". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2017-08-14.
  15. ^ "Sentient Kestrel part of the deal for Army SUAS". Retrieved 2017-08-14.