Research, Technology & Innovation
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Entrepreneur DANIEL ROBINSON
Company RED 6
A startup led by a former fighter pilot is developing augmented reality technology aiming to revolutionize how the military trains its pilots. Daniel Robinson is CEO and founder of Red 6, which created the first AR technology that works outside in dynamic environments, like “300 or 400 miles up in the sky upside-down, pulling G forces,” he says. Using artificial intelligence, the tech can simulate peer adversaries, such as threats coming out of China, says Robinson, who last fall flew a real plane in the world’s first dogfight against an AI-powered augmented reality Chinese J-20. With the Air Force experiencing a pilot shortage, “we’re ushering in something that is incredibly important.”
Born in England, Robinson was a Royal Air Force Tornado Pilot before the U.S. Air Force selected him to learn to fly and then train others on the F-22 Raptor. He was trained at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida’s Panhandle, where he developed a fondness for the Sunshine State. Now, 15 years later, Florida is home for Red 6, which relocated from Santa Monica, Calif., this summer.
Red 6 put its headquarters in Miami, attracted by the city’s growing financial hub and startup scene. Red 6’s technology team is in Orlando because of Central Florida’s established defense and simulation sectors and its universities, including UCF and Full Sail, spinning out talent. Red 6 plans to double its 40-employee workforce over the next year.
Red 6 is partnering with the Air Force to deploy its AR pilot training platform “soon,” Robinson says, and it sees opportunities for its tech in other forms of training and in gaming and entertainment. — By Nancy Dahlberg