Guest post by Kay Wackwitz, Drone Industry Insights —
There is a new leader of the TOP20 Drone Company Ranking – DJI (△+1) is in the lead with narrow margin to Parrot (▽-1).
The eternal battle of the two giants for the first time turned towards the Chinese drone manufacturer. Reasons for that are the strong global expansion (partnerships with Apple, Lufthansa, etc.) the release of the Phantom 4 and Inspire Pro platforms, drone insurance plans and many more.
The activities of Parrots and their latest platform Disco – a 700g fixed-wing platform able to fly 45min – were not able to defend the first rank.
Their free SaaS (Software as a Service) app was launched in Early February to simplify and automate the capture of aerial data. Via app you’ll set up your flight path, take pictures then relay that data to a cloud. The platform processes the data to provide 3D models, volumetric analysis, terrain models, etc. – and all of this almost in real time.
A free service like this probably chose a Facebook-like business model collecting vast amounts of user data.
The Software manufacturer specialized in drone data processing & analytics for construction, mining & utilities feels the uplift of the commercial market in a marketing agreement with Caterpillar. UAV data collection and Redbird’s image analytics capability will provide contractors with a variety of solutions for their operations and help to work faster and safer by using drones and drone data. The Caterpillar and Redbird agreement will operate in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
esri changed their product focus on applicable UAV technology since small UAVs are used for mapping. Beside their common mapping programs, in early 2016 they released a new Full Motion Video (FVM) version for drone video surveillance, which is especially useful to applications in public safety, agriculture, utilities, and emergency management.
Syma Toys (△+14)
Since Yuneec launched the Typhoon H in January 2016 with a competitive consumer price, the message is clear: New players in the recreational drone segment are targeting the lower tiered part of the market. Syma Toys is one of these new players offering a wide range of platforms in both the recreational and the commercial class.
Lily Robotics (△+10)
Lily Robotics moved up 10 ranks for two reasons: First they are struggling with the production of the 60k pre-ordered units (worth $34 million) spending all their energy catching up their delay and secondly doing this despite the upcoming competitors like Hover Camera, Nixie and Hexo+ providing similar functionality.
The hardware manufacturer is a specialist of infrared and thermal images and benefit from the huge UAV operation market growth. FLIR forced their UAV engagement with a partnership with the biggest platform manufacturer DJI to develop thermal-imaging technology for aerial applications like firefighting, agriculture, inspection and several other industrial use cases.
EHANG lost ground (-29%) and two ranks as the “EHANG 184” bubble collapsed and the Ghost-Drone 2.0 is not reaching sales goals yet despite a massive VR upgrade.
When the 184 was presented at the CES early this year the dreams were big to soon be able to fly inside your personal drone – even though the 184 was not able to transported a human being yet.
Very recently the German company e-volo stole the show when they put a manned aerial vehicle – the volocopter – in the air, checked and certified by the German aviation authorities.