Ever since the advent of commercial drones, companies have been trying to come up with autonomous flying machines that can cater to a variety of jobs. And although some companies have been able to succeed in this endeavor, an Israeli startup has, for the first time ever, been authorized to fly self-flying robots for business purposes.
Airobotics, a Petah Tikva, Israel-based company, markets its drones for use in security, site surveying and other industrial applications. Their strength, of course, is in automation. This means that there is no person in the loop, whatsoever. The drones launch, fly and land at the click of a button. The automation function extends even when the drone is at its base, where it can swap batteries and payloads.
“What makes Airobotics different is that it’s the only solution that automates the entire operation.
Its automation extends from pre-flight checks all the way to automatic download and transmission of the data that’s being gathered,” said Efrat Fenigson, VP of Marketing at Airobotics. “It also extends across the entire operation, from when the drone is on the ground to when it’s in the air and back on the ground.”
“Most of the products on the market fail to meet the needs of an end-to-end solution. For example, the drone might take off automatically, but it can’t land. Or, the drone can send data automatically, but then someone will need to manually process the data. Airobotics’ automation capabilities are certainly unique.”
“Our drone system has the unique capability of swapping its own batteries and payloads. It’s also rugged and can fit adverse weather conditions and finally it’s able to self-launch as well as land automatically every time – which is the hardest hurdle to overcome from a technological perspective. Because aviation is so complicated and there’s no room for mistakes, it’s really hard to build a full solution that takes everything into account, but that’s part of the reason we’ve had success in heavy industry environments like mining and power plants.”
What could drive demand for this product?
Automated drones have a promising future, especially in security. They have immense potential to fundamentally change how we approach surveillance and data gathering. More than that, the business impact these kind of drones have to offer are on a clear path to becoming an industry standard. Drones continue to become an integral tool, and replace previous business processes done manually, by collecting critical information, while drastically reducing the time and manpower required.
“Industry sectors such as mining, oil & gas, and sea ports, are already successfully using drones,” Fenigson said. “Industrial facilities, which are complex by nature, have recognized ways for drones to enhance capabilities and efficiencies. These industry sectors benefit greatly from harnessing aerial insights, surveying and mapping, inspection, & security and emergency response applications, which are critical missions for industrial facilities.”
For example, the mining industry is using automated drones to increase efficiency, improve safety and streamline operations, she added. Drones are becoming an integral tool in this transformation, replacing manual inspections in the most hazardous areas and collecting critical information, while drastically reducing the time and manpower required. Airobotics’ drones provide mining companies with critical information such as stockpile volumes and end-of-month reconciliation, terrain mapping, change detection, asset management, scheduling, situational awareness, as well as infrastructure and equipment inspection.
Benefits for systems integrators
According to the company, security systems integrators can benefit from the drones by collecting aerial data without having to operate or deal with the logistics involved in drone operations.
“Security systems integrators consistently face safety and security threats, which oftentimes require real-time response solutions,” Fenigson said. “Airobotics provides security officers and emergency responders a professional tool to collect aerial data, which in turn allows personnel on the ground to make more informed decisions in times of emergency or during routine patrols. Additionally, drones can be used for routine inspections, which prove to a huge benefit for a variety of industrial operations.”