ZeroEyes Receives United States Air Force AFWERX Direct-to-Phase II SBIR Grant

Jun 7, 2022

Will Develop and Deploy Drone-Robot Enabled Active Shooter Deterrence (DRASD) Pilot at Ellsworth Air Force Base

PHILADELPHIA, June 7, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — ZeroEyes, creators of the only A.I.-based gun detection video analytics platform that holds the US Department of Homeland Security SAFETY Act Designation, today announced that the U.S. Air Force AFWERX has awarded the company with a Direct-to-Phase II SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) grant for Drone-Robot Enabled Active Shooter Deterrence (DRASD). The research proposal, submitted under the 21.1 SBIR cycle, has been approved for a $750,000 contract for research and development (R&D) and deployment at Ellsworth Air Force Base, SD, home of the multi-billion dollar B-21 Raider Stealth Bomber.

AFWERX is the Air Force’s team of innovators who encourage and facilitate connections across industry, academia, and military to create transformative opportunities and foster a culture of innovation. This announcement marks the first time that an integrated weapon and intrusion detection system has been deployed at scale for the Department of Defense using existing and emerging infrastructure.

One in every four workplace shootings occur on government property. The DRASD deployment will combat this issue by overlaying ZeroEyes’ gun detection solution onto Ellsworth AFB static cameras and intrusion detection analytics. When a gun is identified, the technology will trigger robots and/or drones to interdict, delay, deter and disorient active shooters with non-lethal strobes and high-pitched sirens until Air Force personnel can intervene. Under Direct-to-Phase II SBIR, the DRASD deployments will be piloted and tested for a period of 15 months, with the goal of validating the fit between ZeroEyes’ commercial AI gun detection solution and the Air Force market.

Supplementary to ZeroEyes’ partnership with Tyndall AFB announced earlier this year, the Direct-to-Phase II SBIR grant further validates Air Force endorsement of ZeroEyes technology. “Innovation is a key pillar for the United States Air Force, and our leaders are continually seeking innovative technologies to prepare for future conflicts,” said Loretta Vega, Deputy Director, 28th Mission Support Group. “We look forward to deploying ZeroEyes’ security solution at Ellsworth Air Force Base to further keep our Airmen safe.”

Founded by a group of former Navy SEAL team leaders, ZeroEyes’ solution uses hundreds of thousands of proprietary images and videos to train its A.I. to be the most comprehensive and superior gun detection technology on the market. The end-to-end solution is capable of proactively identifying guns before the first shot is fired by integrating its machine learning software with existing IP security cameras. This creates a highly affordable means of empowering security decision-makers to radically improve their ability to save lives.

The company employs the expertise of former U.S. military specialists to monitor and interpret specifically flagged images, which ensures the immediate delivery of accurate and actionable intelligence about the brandishing of a gun near an occupied area or building. Once a shooter or intruder is identified, ZeroEyes’ software triggers an automated alert to notify the drone or robot of the threat’s location so that it can respond before Air Force personnel arrive. By combining automation and robotics, DRASD will decrease response times and save the lives of American service members.

“DRASD deployments will enable the Air Force to optimize and automate resources by reducing their manpower-intensive tasks,” said Tim Sulzer, CTO of ZeroEyes. “Once Phase II testing is complete, there is an exciting possibility for extending DRASD to education and commercial environments.”

“With more than 2,500 submissions and only an 8-10% acceptance rate, this Phase II SBIR award signifies that the U.S. Air Force believes in ZeroEyes and our ability to deter potential shootings,” said Mike Lahiff, CEO and co-founder of ZeroEyes. “We look forward to working closely with the Air Force, expanding to the Air Force market and potentially scaling our solution to the broader Department of Defense.”

About ZeroEyes

ZeroEyes delivers a proactive, human-verified A.I. gun detection software solution that integrates into existing security cameras and mitigates mass shootings and gun-related violence by reducing response times, providing actionable intelligence with images and delivering clarity among chaos – ultimately saving lives. ZeroEyes’ patented solution has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a promising anti-terrorism technology and is the first video analytics technology to receive SAFETY Act DT&E Designation.

Founded by Navy SEALs and Special Operations military veterans, ZeroEyes delivers accurate and real-time actionable intelligence about the brandishing of a gun near or in an occupied area or building, to local staff and law enforcement with an image of the shooter(s) and location of the threat, within 3 to 5 seconds from the moment the gun is detected. The ZeroEyes team also provides tech consulting, installation assistance and practice drills for active shooter events to enhance safety at schools, corporate and government facilities. Headquartered in the Greater Philadelphia area, the company’s affordable and effective gun detection solution has been adopted by the US Department of Defense, leading public K-12 school districts, colleges / universities, commercial property groups, manufacturing plants, Fortune 500 corporate campuses, shopping malls, big-box retail stores and more. Learn more about ZeroEyes at

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