CA-based FlytBase, Inc., a startup building developer platforms for connected intelligent drones, has announced the release of industry’s first Drone-API as a Service offering.
“While most modern businesses run on cloud-based applications, connecting drones to the cloud has been quite challenging,” says the company announcement. “FlytBase plans to change that with their FlytBase Cloud platform.”
While drones are commonly included in discussions about the Internet of Things (IoT), FlytBase says that developing communication protocols for drones is different than other elements of IoT. “Typical IoT devices are deployed in very large numbers, consume low-power, and send small amounts of data spread over long durations of time,” says FlytBase. “Drones, on the other hand, are deployed in smaller fleets, have large lithium-based batteries, and send a large amount of data over a short period of time. Drone applications need real-time navigation, telemetry and payload access over a high-bandwidth secure link.”
In an effort to meet the needs of drones, FlytBase has designed a custom protocol. Their new platform, FlytBase Cloud, uses the protocol to efficiently connect drones to cloud-based business applications in real time.
FlytBase says that while cloud-based drone applications are common, they require operators to download data from the drone manually before uploading data to the cloud after flight. Vertically integrated solutions such as Airware, Precision Hawk, and Kespry offer higher levels of integration and connectivity but are not open for development. With FlytBase Cloud, developers can easily build applications
“With FlytBase Cloud, developers can easily build applications like automating fleet of drones to scan the warehouse and update the inventory in Salesforce every week, with no manual intervention,” says FlytBase.
“Over the years, we have seen rapid development of technologies that allow our gadgets/devices to be connected to the internet. Several IaaS/PaaS platforms, such as AWS, Azure, Google Cloud offer ready tools for IoT (Internet of Things),” FlytBase CEO Nitin Gupta tells DRONELIFE. “However, no such tools exist for integrating drones with internet and cloud-based business applications. FlytBase Cloud is the first platform to bring this capability to developers.”
“IoD (Internet of Drones) will enable efficient development of applications that need live connectivity with a large fleet of drones, spread over large geographies (or even continents),” says Gupta. “It will also enable faster integration of drones with a variety of business processes and workflows, to truly leverage drone technology for business applications.”
FlytBase has partnered with Built.io to provide ready integration of drones with hundreds of business apps, such as Salesforce, Box, Slack, Twilio, Cisco Spark, Zendesk, Dropbox, Nest, and YouTube. “This allows users to easily build automated workflows, that leverage drones as part of the solution, without writing any code,” says FlytBase.
FlytBase Cloud is compatible with all major drone platforms available today.
FlytBase also provides a cloud-based drone simulator, FlytSim, for developers to completely test their applications in simulation, before deploying them on real hardware. “There are a large number of software developers with no prior background in drones. FlytSim helps them build and test their drone applications much faster, cheaper and without any of the risks associated with direct implementation on hardware”, says Sharvashish Das, Director of Engineering at FlytBase.
The FlytBase flagship product, FlytOS, is the world’s first drone operating system that works across the widest range of hardware options, including, those from Intel, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Raspberry Pi and Samsung. FlytBase also offers, FlytSim, a simulator for drone applications, and Drone Software Development Kits for web and mobile platforms.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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