22 February 2023
As a 911 dispatcher for Rogers, Arkansas, Chris Fink was introduced to the incredible, lifesaving work our nation’s first responders shoulder every day. He quickly became familiar with the need for additional support and resources to keep communities and public-safety professionals safe. This understanding—combined with Fink's passion for technology—propelled him to start Unmanned Vehicle Technologies (UVT) in 2014.
UVT founder and CEO Chris Fink
Today, UVT is one of the largest drone and robotics dealers in North America, supporting more than 2,400 government agencies and businesses—including Arkansas State Police, Arkansas Game & Fish, Ozarks Electric Cooperative, and the University of Arkansas Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies. The company also offers mission-critical technical and operational fleet-support services.
UVT provides drone training and delivery to public safety personnel.
Drone Technology: A Look Into the Future
For those invested in the public safety industry, overcoming obstacles for first responders in the hopes of responding quicker—and with more intelligence—while saving more people has always been the goal. Currently, officers responding to an emergency call are at the mercy of the information passed on by dispatch. Often inaccurate and almost always incomplete, what’s really happening at the scene is obscure and largely unknown until first responders arrive.
While a drone provides overwatch and enhanced visibility for an emergency scene, the future of drones is plain and simple—it's autonomy.
Unmanned aerial vehicle systems with the ability to remotely and/or autonomously launch, fly assigned missions, and return to land for data extraction are quickly becoming the standard for public safety. UVT's Drones As First Responder Program seeks to provide emergency teams the tools to engage faster, smarter, and safer. For example, drones remotely deploying to a house fire provide overwatch and thermal imaging to first responders, allowing emergency personnel to concentrate their fire attack—all of which saves time, resources, and, most importantly, lives. The same is true of drones deploying out of a docking station on top of a substation to check for anomalies that might have caused an outage.
Autonomy is the future, because drones being put to work for us—not with us—means these autonomous vehicles and systems do the work we don’t want to, is too dangerous, or shouldn’t be doing.
For those concerned about drones and robotics in the workplace, this isn’t technology taking human jobs. Drones and robots are augmenting the jobs we’re already doing. For many, the realization comes through education and an understanding of the technology’s full potential to help us work better, safer, and more efficiently to ensure everyone can go home safely.
UVT's passion for drone and robotics technology comes from an intimate understanding of how these devices are currently being used to save lives, as well as knowing what’s possible as more government and enterprise entities adopt the technology to better serve their communities. We can’t predict the future, but we can promise we will be here for the drone operators who won’t take no for an answer. We will be here to support the police and fire departments who will stop at nothing to lower their response times. After all, that’s what this is all about—leveraging technology to do the dirty, dull, and dangerous jobs better.
UVT In Action
The UVT team.
First and foremost, we are partners. We exist to equip organizations with the most advanced unmanned aircraft and robotics technology, supported by our industry-leading mission-critical technical and operational fleet support services. Our operational support has been built with your mission in mind, and our commitment to you is that we are here for you, day and night.
The UVT team is composed of many current and former public servants, enabling us to use our experience as first responders to design and build custom solutions for the real-world problems you and your team face every day.
Team members, such as our Field Applications Specialists, sales personnel, and technicians have spent thousands of hours in the field, deploying, flying, testing, and analyzing the platforms we provide. Why? Because we use them ourselves, and we understand how this technology can be critical to your missions’ success.
Our support is built on our loyalty to you, your safety, and our dedication to ensure we keep you operational, day or night.