An Israeli drone company has won industry accolades for deploying a first-ever autonomous drone platform.
Innovation leader Frost & Sullivan awarded Airobotics with the 2018 Global New Product Innovation Award.
The company’s Optimus drone surveys and collects aerial data and includes integrated software for mission planning and data analytics. The drone platform features an automated, robotic Airbase docking station, which can swap out advanced, high-precision avionic sensors based on a customer’s needs for a specific mission.
“The Airobotics system is a unique drone platform that is completely automated from end to end: launching, gathering data, payload and battery switching, and docking,” Frost & Sullivan analyst Arjun Mehta said.
The Optimus is programmed to return to its ground base when battery levels measure low allowing an automatic battery swap. It can then automatically relaunch. The company says the autonomous functionality is ideal for inspections of mining, oil, gas and energy infrastructure.
“Our momentum drives tremendous growth into new geographies such as the U.S., Chile and New Caledonia, while we continue to make great progress with customers in Australia,” said Ran Krauss, CEO and Co-Founder of Airobotics. “We look forward to continue providing great value to industrial facilities this year while expanding into the emergency services sector to fulfill on the vision of smart, safe cities.”
According to Frost & Sullivan, the Global New Product Innovation Award is awarded to companies that gave “developed an innovative element in a product by leveraging leading-edge technologies. The award recognizes the value-added features/benefits of the product and the increased return on investment (ROI) it gives customers, which, in turn, raises customer acquisition and overall market penetration potential.”
In 2017, Airobotics announced an infusion of $32.5 million in VC funding led by BlueRun Ventures China, as well as Microsoft Ventures, OurCrowd.com and an unnamed “strategic investor.”
A year before, the startup helped Israel Chemicals Ltd project 3D terrain models processed by the company’s Correlator3D photometric software – the test proved as accurate or more accurate than more expensive, labor-intensive ground methods.