Drone platform in a (big) box company Airobotics eyes Australian expansion

Drone platform in a (big) box company Airobotics eyes Australian expansion

Targets mining, oil, gas and industrial companies

An Israeli company that offers a fully automated industrial drone system is looking to expand to Australia and raise funding locally.

Airobotics’ offering consists of a drone, base station and software which together allow customers to carry out a range of drone applications without the need for a costly pilot or operator.

The company is looking to set up an office in Australia towards the end of this year to target mining, oil and gas and industrial companies. Airobotics representatives will be at the Diggers and Dealers Forum in Kalgoorlie next month.

Having operated in ‘stealth mode’ for a number of years, Airobotics launched publically last month.

Airobotics’ platform is made up of a drone called Optimus which can stream real-time video and carry a one-kilogram payload for 30 minute flights.

Optimus launches and lands on an Airbase – a 2.1 metre tall, waterproof mobile cabinet – which can quickly swap out Optimus’ batteries and payloads with a robotic arm.

The software allows customers to schedule and plan repeatable missions as well as process the data the drone collects.

The company said its drone platform could be used to carry out routine inspections, measure and map stockpiles, and strengthen security.

Major mining companies like BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto have begun using drones as part of their operations. The NSW government launched a six month trial of military-grade drone Little Ripper in February as part of its $16 million shark management strategy. This year Fugro Roames recruited drones to help scan 1.1 million overhead power poles across 160,000 kilometres in a trial for Ergon Energy.

In Australia anyone flying a drone for commercial gain requires a UAV Controller’s Certificate. From September this year the certificate will be replaced by the Remote Pilot Licence (RePL).

It is unclear how the legislation covers automated, pilotless flights, such as those offered by Airobotics.

Intel’s world-record-holding drone performance, made its public debut as part of Vivid Festival in Sydney.

Intel's Drone 100 lights up Sydney skyline at Vivid

Intel’s world-record-holding drone performance, made its public debut as part of Vivid Festival in Sydney.

  • When its inaugural flight took place in November 2015 in Hamburg, Germany, Drone 100 set a Guinness World Record for the most number of unmanned aerial vehicles flying simultaneously.
  • The Vivid performance was the first time Drone 100 had ever been done above water, in front of a live, public audience in the heart of a major city.
  • “With drones quickly emerging as an important computing platform of the future, Drone 100 exemplifies what it means to reinvent experiences with new technology,” said Anil Nanduri, Intel’s GM of unmanned aviation systems for its Perceptual Computing Group.
  • The performance was designed to delight audiences and highlight the potential of UAVs, including the different ways they could be integrated into different industries.
  • The drones, controlled by one main pilot, followed a bespoke animation designed specifically for the Sydney performance.
  • The drones ahead of their public debut in front of the Sydney skyline.
  • The performance was synchronised to Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, performed live by the Sydney Youth Orchestra.
  • The drones form Intel's logo in the sky.
  • The seven-minute performance wowed audiences who had travelled from across the world to attend the festival.

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