As drones become big news, so do systems to avoid them. Investment in drone defense has increased as a range of stakeholders from federal agencies and airports to stadiums and office buildings look for solutions. San Francisco-based Airspace Systems Inc. has just scored $20-million from a Series A funding round led by Singtel Innov8 the venture capital arm of Singtel, with participation from s28 Capital and previous investors Shasta Ventures and Granite Hill Capital Partners.
“Demand for protecting stadiums, commercial buildings, power plants and, for that matter, any other public venues from potential drone threats is growing rapidly,” Karras said. “There are a number of important drone defense technologies flooding the market but there has not been one which integrates all the best capabilities under a single platform until the solutions developed by Airspace.”
Founded by engineers from big tech firms like Apple, Google and Cisco Systems, Airspace is quickly moving to the front of the counter drone industry by utilizing AI to “detect, classify, and capture” complex drone threats. “Co-founder and CEO Jaz Banga, says the company will use the latest funding to produce the Airspace Command Center (AC2), a comprehensive drone defense system, at scale and expand its Silicon Valley-based machine vision, autonomous navigation and embedded systems teams,” says a company press release.
The Airspace system covers all aspects of drone threat response, not only locating a potential problem but then eliminating it. “The Mobile Airspace Command Center(MAC2), Airspace’s latest solution identifies potential threats in the sky and when a rogue drone is spotted, it deploys a variety of countermeasures including the Airspace Interceptor™, which autonomously navigates and reacts to a rogue drone’s every move and then safely captures and removes enemy drones to avoid collateral damage,” says Airspace. “The company utilizes AI, machine vision and deep-learning neural networks to defend against the most complex drone threats faced by public event venues, military personnel and law enforcement agencies.”
“We’re leveraging the bleeding edge of artificial intelligence, computer vision, high-speed robotics and neural networks to create something like a firewall in the sky,” said Banga, the only counter-drone executive on the DAC (FAA’s Drone Advisory Committee). “We’re building the complete drone security system that lets the good drones in and keeps the bad ones out.”
“The future of stadium security is no longer a 2D but rather a 3D problem,” said Rohit Gupta, partner at Sterling VC–an early investor in Airspace Systems “Drones are the growing threat on everyone’s minds.”
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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