We have seen numerous drone enterprises burst onto the industry’s landscape and vanish just like that. The year 2018 saw a ruthless and rather unanticipated closure of Airware in the fall. Others may not have disappeared from the scene forever but some of them are no more in the form as we knew them such as AirMap lost its position as DJI’s leading airspace provider and was replaced by Precision Hawk. However, as it may seem that tons of drone startups are closing down, there are many burgeoning startups that are bursting onto the canvas of the drone industry with an aim to disrupt the industry with innovative technology.
Skydio in Drone Startups
Renowned for its autonomous intelligent camera drone, Skydio R1 Self-Flying 4K Camera Smart Drone, Skydio is a drone company headquartered in sSan Francisco, California. The company was established in 2014 but came to fore in 2018 with the introduction of its R1 drone; an autonomous drone that is integrated with an enviable capability of portraying and interpreting the world in real time. The drone also has the ability to stay clear of obstructions autonomously. Offering a splendid blend of 4K UHD camera with computer vision, Skydio R1 can be maneuvered via smartphone.
The year 2019 holds special significance for the tech startup as it is in the middle of developing a motion-planned algorithm and computer vision that allows package delivery using smart drones.
Abraham Bacharach, Matthew Danhoe and Adam Bry are the founding members of Skydio and NVIDIA are investing in the startup along with 09 other tech giants.
Beginning its odyssey in the drone world as a drone data platform for agriculture sector, PrecsionHawk expanded its operations into other fields with more funding. The startup is partnering Federal Aviation Administration in its PathFinder Program and has become famous in the drone industry as an imaginative enterprise that is vying to establish itself in several niches with their funding exceeding $100 million.
Farmer controls an autonomous combine harvester via drone. Internet of things in agriculture
Aiming to encourage the mainstreaming of commercial drones worldwide, the enterprise is expected to attain new heights after their collaboration with DJI to provide airspace in North America.
DJI are striving to enhance their geofencing technology with PrecisionHawk’s Low Altitude Traffic and Airspace Safety (LATAS) platform. This is a system that lets drone operators fly legally and safely. Considering the fact that DJI are the entrenched market leaders, PrecisionHawk’s collaboration with them means that they are a company to look forward to in 2019.
Drone Startups: MicroMultiCopter Aero Technology
With about 15 leading scientists in the world of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), MMC is one of the leaders in the Chinese drone industry landscape. It primarily produces drone startups for cinematography and television, aerial photography, advertising, remote sensing, and prevention from fire.
A6 Plus (high payload), HyDrone 1550 ( long airtime hydrogen-powered drone), T1 Tether system and Xena 900 (Foldable travel drone) are some of the main products developed by MMC which can be employed for power and utility surveys, crop spraying, oil inspection, land mapping, and air surveillance. MMC is also in the middle of working on power line monitoring in regions with rugged terrain.
Massimiliano Versace, Heather Ames, and Anatoli Gorchechnikov have joined hands to come up with Neurala which is an Artificial Intelligence company. The partners are renowned scientists who conducted research for DARPA and NASA and employed their findings in establishing Neurala.
Neurala participated in the TechStars project in 2014 which offered it an opportunity to employ its AI technology at a broader scale. This imaginative startup has gained popularity for its cameras used for aerial survey and monitoring, toy robots, and UAVs.
Neurala acts as a brain in drones while allowing machine learning in real-time without requiring access to the internet. Presently, it is being employed to carry out efficient and time-saving aerial missions, utilizing their equipment to identify lattices, poles, and insulators.
The realms of the drone industry are still seeing AI in its inception stages so there is plenty of room available for growth. Neurala has got tons of potential in disrupting the drone landscape with its AI technology.
Flirtey has claimed that they were able to accomplish the first-ever FAA sanctioned drone delivery. The startup was set up by Ahmed Haider, Tom Bass, and Matt Sweeny in Australia before they moved to the US.
As of now, Flirtey is focusing on online retail, search and rescue, and food delivery services via drones with their funding reaching $16.2 million.
Flirtey is working with a vision to save lives and enhance the standard of living by ensuring immediate package delivery using drones. Presently, Flirtey is the only company that facilitates delivery using drones. They are rooting for a future that is studded with drone delivery in the same manner as food delivery, medical delivery, and truck delivery.
Flirtey was part of FAA’s UAS Integration Pilot Program and accomplished the first multi drone delivery in September after competing with Amazon for the slot and beating it. This means that we should keep our fingers crossed for them to make it big in the year to come.
Swift Navigation in Drone Companies
Swift Navigation is yet another drone startups headquartered in San Francisco which is popular for its GPS technology that allows pilots to access precise and reliable positioning data in inclement weather conditions and hostile environments. The company recently released Piksi Multi, a multi-constellation, multi-band, and accurate GNNS receiver.
Positioning is crucial when it comes to autonomous flight. As drones get mainstreamed in modern search and rescue, delivery, and other fields, GPS technology is going serve as a driver behind their effective use.
Do let us know about the startups that you are looking forward to in 2019 by dropping a comment in the comments section below.