Robotic Skies Raises Strategic Investment from CerraCap Ventures

Albuquerque, NM | Robotic Skies, Inc, the only certified global maintenance network for commercial unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), announced today a strategic investment from CerraCap Ventures to support the company’s continued growth and technology development.

Robotic Skies provides turnkey maintenance solutions designed to scale with the needs of unmanned aircraft manufacturers and enterprise operators. The Robotic Skies Service Center network has more than 190 independently owned and operated aviation repair stations to serve the global commercial UAS market.

“A robust software platform is essential to aviation maintenance operations. As we continue to support the rapidly expanding unmanned market, a highly automated and data-driven technology stack becomes an even more vital element of our business,” said Brad Hayden, Robotic Skies CEO and Founder. “The investment from CerraCap accelerates the development of this key enterprise technology for our company.”

CerraCap Ventures is an early-stage technology venture capital firm specializing in Cyber Security, Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Analytics, and Healthcare Technology investments. The firm joins Robotic Skies’ investment group, which also includes Boeing HorizonX Ventures, Thayer Ventures, Sun Mountain Capital, and Kickstart Seed Fund.

“We are excited to expand our portfolio into commercial unmanned aircraft systems with our investment in Robotic Skies. There is exceptional value in what this company offers the unmanned aviation maintenance industry. With CerraCap investment, Robotic Skies is building a world-class, data-driven services platform to support the safe integration of unmanned aircraft technology,” said Saurabh Ranjan, CEO and Managing Partner at CerraCap Ventures.

CerraCap Ventures

CerraCap Ventures is a Global fund headquartered in California and dedicated to early-stage technology investments. We focus on Enterprise (B2B) products and solutions in the emerging technology areas of Health-care, AI and Cyber Security. Through its unique Sales and Scale model, CerraCap actively supports the portfolio in taking great ideas to commercial success. Learn more at www.cerracap.com.

Robotic Skies, Inc

Robotic Skies is a global network of certified commercial UAS maintenance Service Centers. Founded in 2014, Robotic Skies has more than 190 independently owned and operated repair stations in its network, spanning more than 40 countries. The company’s comprehensive turnkey maintenance solutions are designed to scale with the needs of unmanned aircraft manufacturers and enterprise operators. Learn more at www.roboticskies.com.

Patrick’s RID letter to the President Trump.

February 21, 2020

President Donald J. Trump

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW

Washington, DC 20500

RE: FAA Remote Identification of Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Notice of Public Rulemaking.

Docket No.: FAA-2019-1100

This proposed rule constitutes a credible threat to the national security of the United States of America.

Mr. President;

This proposed rule will only serve to bolster the growing monopoly enjoyed by a Chinese toy (import classification) Company. Shenzhen Dà-Jiāng Innovations Sciences and Technologies Ltd. is purported to have secured $1.6 billion in investment moneys, some coming from the People’s Republic of China. That same investment money is and has been spent influencing State and Federal lawmakers, as well as the Federal Aviation Administration, ultimately allowing DJI to dump low cost drones into the marketplace.

Simple, non-intrusive, and more cost-effective measures, like point-of-sale registration for “aircraft,” have not yet been tried. This simple measure would ensure both privacy and

accountability but were aggressively lobbied against by big box retailers and DJI.

The United States of America is the birthplace of aviation and has been responsible for great advancements and achievements in aviation. Aviation luminaries like Howard Hughes, Paul MacCready, Samuel Langley utilized model aviation to achieve these innovations.

Many of the systems that US warfighters have come to rely on, like Aerosonde, Scaneagle, Predator and Reaper, Raven, Puma, and Wasp; were only possible because of the innovations and supply chains developed by the domestic remote-control hobby ecosystem.

That once robust marketplace is now in disarray and this is in turn leading to poorly crafted rules not based in science; and these rules favor offshore manufacturers that negatively impact an already beleaguered domestic aviation industry.

Proposed Remote ID solutions should neither be spearheaded nor influenced by the Chinese. We as a nation need an Aviation Administration that promulgates rules that enable and promote innovation as well as support a robust Aviation ecosystem in the United States.

This proposal is by and large flawed since it obviously lacks input from SME’s, commercial end-users, and American citizens whom enjoy the safe modeling hobby. RID is bad for American aviation!

Sincerely, Patrick Egan

CC: Hon. Kamala Harris, Hon. Doris Matsui

Vote for Altitude Angel

Altitude Angel have been shortlisted by BusinessCloud as one of the most innovative tech companies in the South East of England.

We’re ranking the South East’s most innovative technology companies – from start-ups to established players – and you can have your say.

After sifting through nominations and carrying out our own research, we have compiled a shortlist of 114 disruptive companies who are using tech in innovative ways.

We have assembled a panel of judges who will each choose their top 15 companies. They are:

  • Elizabeth Corse, entrepreneur engagement manager (South East), Tech Nation
  • Tom Fox, tech growth lead, KPMG
  • Sam Peers, business development manager, Blake Morgan LLP
  • Jonathan Symcox, editor, BusinessCloud

For the next two weeks we are running a voting process for the general public. You have 11pm on Sunday 1st March to vote.

If you would like to vote for Altitude Angel click here

Acecore Technologies and Workswell renew partnership agreement

PRAGUE, Czech Republic | Workswell, a leading designer and manufacturer of stationary, R&D and UAV thermal imaging cameras, solutions and systems, announced today that the company is renewing its partnership with Acecore Technologies, a market leading designer and manufacturer of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) from The Netherlands.

European-made UAV packages

“Acecore have been working with Workswell infrared cameras ever since we recognized the thermal inspection industry for power lines, solar panels, wind turbines etc. Integrating the first generation WIRIS dual sensor camera as a payload option for our drones enabled Acecore to deliver a complete solution.” said Youri van Helden, marketingmanager at Acecore.
“Revamping the partnership allows us to work even more closely together and take advantage of Workswell’s extended product range”, he added.
“Having a thermal camera payload without a robust, stable and professional UAV will not satisfy the customer’s needs. Workswell & Acecore’s partnership creates end-to-end UAV systems including all elements needed for professional work such as drone itself, thermal payload, gimbal, controller, RTK etc. for any kind of application”, said Adam Svestka, Head of Global Business Development in Workswell company. “The customer gets the full package: a plug & play solution to carry out their job accurately, fast and without additional accessories or software” Svestka added.In order to provide the global market with a European-made alternative to existing drone and camera solutions, the companies have been working together to align their strategies. Acecore have designed a dedicated UAS for each of the Workswell infrared cameras, including the GIS320 gas detection camera and the dual sensor WIRIS Security.
The bundles include, not just a drone and a camera, all peripherals such as the gimbal, transmitter and video link. Customers can purchase these ready-to-fly bundles from Acecore as well as Workswell sales points, including official distributors.Being a dedicated infrared camera system developer, Workswell have been looking for a competent universal drone platform to integrate its cameras with. DJI drones such as the M600 series have been filling this spot until now. The addition of the European hand made Acecore drones enabled Workswell to offer a 100% China-free alternative for customers globally.
Workswell infrared cameras are to be considered top-of-the-line, offering features such as 1280 x 1024 px super resolution, up to 10x optical zoom and a radiometric temperature measuring range of up to 1.500°C. Controlling the cameras’ features can be done – from the ground – using Workswell’s WIRIS OS operating system which includes many functionalities for security and measuring applications, extending the camera’s metrological capabilities. All the UAV-series cameras are equipped with WIRIS OS for an easy and user-friendly experience.Acecore uses the highest quality materials to design and build the Neo and Zoe drones. Both UAVs were designed to perform as a robust and versatile solution for many applications, including cinematography, inspection, aerial surveying and security. Their lightweight carbon fiber frames and advanced motors allow users to implement payloads of up to 9kg with a maximum takeoff weight of <25kg. To optimize PPK efforts, Acecore’s Neo and Zoe drones come fitted with a smart module that puts the GPS and drone flight data directly on the collected images.

About Acecore Technologies

Acecore technologies is an integrator, developer and manufacturer of high-end tailor made drone and camera technology for professional use. The aviation company was founded to raise the bar in terms of performance and looks in the UAV world. Starting out as end users in drone cinematography, Acecore felt that there was no platform available that met the high standards. So they built their own. Anno 2020, there’s Neo and Zoe drones at work in virtually all drone industries, including inspection, land surveying and security.Acecore is known for working with renowned suppliers, including Workswell, Gremsy, RED, Elistair and Phase One. Learn more or get in touch at www.acecoretechnologies.com

About Workswell

Workswell is a Central European based manufacturing company with headquarters located in Prague. The company is divided into the several departments with main focus on Thermal products and solutions for different areas. Workswell customers are looking for solutions, not only products; they are looking for the systems with added value and full professional support. The company wants to bring to the thermal market the advanced technology and products to help the customers to solve their issues and together with partners like Acecore make the work way easier with no limits.More about Workswell company on www.workswell.eu

SOARIZON by Thales announces strategic partnership with CG Labs

SOARIZON, the integrated drone operations technology provider has formed a strategic partnership with CG Labs, experts in the capture and processing of data.

Based in Milton Keynes, UK, CG Labs works across many different sectors including industrial, construction, agriculture and events specialising in visualization, modelling and measurement, where technology and data manipulation deliver a new standard in accuracy and efficiency.

The partnership will involve the two companies collaborating on strategic opportunities to provide data processing solutions, giving SOARIZON customers a quality end-to-end data acquisition and processing service.

The partnership will provide SOARIZON customers with pre-flight consultancy on the best methodologies for data acquisition, as well as first class post processing capability that far surpasses the current go-to systems that utilise cloud processing.

Services available to SOARIZON customers include: Thermal Condition Reporting, LiDAR manipulation, 2D orthomosaics, 3D models, Digital Elevation, Surface and Terrain Models. All hosted on an accessible, user-friendly platform.

Streamlining the end-to-end process of gathering data by unmanned air systems in this way can save businesses time and cost, whilst maintaining full oversight of all drone operations and ensuring that all output is fully secure, therefore, minimising exposure and risk in data quality control and assurance.

Michael Oliver, Head of SOARIZON said of the partnership: “We are delighted to be working with CG Labs to introduce new and exciting capabilities into our service ecosystem. This partnership will bring valuable data processing services to our customers, helping them to further streamline their end-to-end drone operations. Like SOARIZON, CG Labs has ambitious plans to innovate and continuously improve. This partnership will help us to unlock the true potential of data acquired by drones for business and organisations of all sizes.”

David Cummins, Executive Director of CG Labs said: “We jumped at the chance to partner with the SOARIZON team. We are excited to be able to share our global processing capabilities and innovation with SOARIZON customers. Our tools will allow them to transform data into more useful insights that can add significant value to their own clients. Furthermore, as a customer of SOARIZON ourselves, we have found that we are able to streamline our own drone mission workflow, increasing our efficiency, safety and accountability, meaning that we save time, effort and money.”

The two companies will now work together on offering joint services and testing the value of integrating this type of service into the core SOARIZON platform.

About SOARIZON by Thales:

SOARIZON empowers scaled UAS operations through its secure, compliant and efficient ecosystem. Combining best in class mapping capabilities, NOTAMs, airspace data, and full risk assessment tools, SOARIZON enables enterprises of all sizes to maintain a full view of all drone operations, from planning through to approval and delivery.

Find out more and sign up for free at SOARIZON.io

About CG Labs:

As a member of the CG Tech group, CG Labs focuses on helping traditional businesses unlock the many benefits associated with digitising their systems and services. Data captured for photogrammetry, or using laser scanners, thermal and hyper/multi-spectral sensors can be quickly transformed to provide the end customer with digital solutions that are easy to access and generate unique insights.

Adasi unveil Garmousha helicopter at Umex 2020

Adasi, the regional leader in autonomous systems and services, on Sunday launched the first UAE-made high-performance “Garmousha” vertical take-off and landing drone, in an agreement with the General Headquarters of the UAE Armed Forces.

His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, unveiled the new unmanned system at the Edge stand, Umex 2020, currently underway at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre until February 25.

Aimed at further advancing air operations and enhancing performance, the new Garmousha drone is a light military unmanned aircraft designed to carry payloads of approximately 100kg, with an endurance of six hours and 150km. A new platform offering greater endurance, higher payload, an integrated high-definition camera and coverage of a larger surface area, the helicopter provides optimal operational flexibility, allowing militaries to save manned helicopters for critical missions.

The Garmousha drone can also be used to detect gas pipeline leaks, to survey infrastructure, and in search and rescue operations. Its advanced capabilities are expected to reduce its overall cost of operations.

Commenting on the drones, Faisal Al Bannai, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Edge, said, “Drone technology is revolutionising our world, creating a safer and cheaper alternative to manned aircraft. As an unmanned system, the launch of the sophisticated Garmousha drone helps advance Adasi’s vision for the future of defence, while strengthening the company’s position as the regional leader in autonomous systems and services.”

Regarding its place in the market, Ali Al Yafei, CEO of Adasi, said, “The Garmousha drone is designed to be extremely competitive in the market and will enable us to offer our clients the accuracy required to stay on the leading edge of tomorrow. At Adasi, we are continuously adapting to meet our customers’ needs, and this product underpins our concerted efforts to identify a gap in the market, and act on it.”

The drone can simultaneously carry a wide variety of payloads, including a stabilised electro-optical sensor for day and night ISR collection. With a low-consumption diesel engine, its unmanned navigation and concurrent sensor capabilities, it is a versatile system capable of solving some of the most difficult challenges in rugged

environments.

Adasi is the official Strategic Partner of Umex 2020, and is part of the Platforms and Systems cluster within Edge, an advanced technology group for defence and beyond, which was inaugurated in November 2019.

NASA – Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Ecosystem Working Groups Kickoff Workshop

When: March 10-12, 2020


Where: The Hotel at The University of Maryland – 7777 Baltimore Ave., College Park, MD 20740


Room Block Details: A block of 40 sleeping rooms is being held at the hotel at a discounted rate of $199.00 per night. Reservations for the room block can be made by either of the following methods:

– Calling the hotel directly (301) 277-7777 and asking for the NASA Advanced Air Mobility Room Block

– Online using the following link: NASA Advanced Air Mobility Workshop Room Block


NOTICE TO NASA ATTENDEES: You must be an approved attendee in NCTS (41570-20) to attend the UAM Ecosystem Working Groups Kickoff Workshop. Please verify you are approved prior to signing up for the kickoff workshop or booking the hotel.


Register for the UAM Ecosystem Working Groups Kickoff Workshop:

Wing Supports ASTM Standard for Drone Remote ID

Wing is committed to the safe, open, and secure use of airspace. To that end, Wing supports the remote identification of drones (“Remote ID”), which will help to protect the public, promote responsible flying, and keep our skies open to all users.

Following the December release of the FAA’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for Remote ID in the United States, Wing welcomes the publication this week of a new ASTM International standard for Remote ID. The ASTM standard reflects two years of collaboration between regulators and industry. It demonstrates that Remote ID can be implemented in a way that supports a diverse drone ecosystem, protects privacy, and enables hobbyists to participate in the airspace.

While Wing agrees with the objectives of the FAA’s NPRM, the proposed rule poses some challenges as drafted. The ASTM standard can help to address some of these challenges, and Wing looks forward to providing detailed public comments to the FAA as part of the rulemaking process.

Challenges

Wing believes that simple changes can resolve the challenges presented by the proposed rule in a safe and secure way, and enable Remote ID to be implemented quickly with existing technology:

  • Drones are diverse. Drones range from sophisticated commercial systems to off-the-shelf aircraft and home-built models. The rule should outline viable pathways to compliance for all commercial and recreational operators. It should permit operators to select any form of Remote ID that delivers the necessary performance.
  • Privacy is important. Unlike passenger aircraft flying between airports, drones operate between people, shops, hospitals, and homes. The draft rule requires operators to share substantial data with few controls. That data may reveal sensitive information about customers and operators. Remote ID data should be capable of effective anonymization, and limited to essential information. The storage of this information should be restricted in accordance with a legal process.
  • Our skies are open to all. Hobbyists are vital to innovation in the United States. However, the proposed rule would make it difficult for hobbyists to build and operate their aircraft. The final rule should recognize alternative ways for hobbyists to identify their drones, including via smartphone, and should avoid limiting their participation in the airspace.

Path forward

Remote ID can be implemented in a way that supports safety and security, respects privacy, and offers viable pathways to compliance. Working with ASTM International, the drone industry has developed a technical standard for Remote ID. The final rule should adopt the approach outlined in the new standard.

The ASTM standard follows nearly two years of collaboration between regulators, drone manufacturers, and drone operators worldwide. Together with industry partners, police, and regulators, Wing has demonstrated the standard in real-world operations across the United States and Europe. The standard:

  • Supports a diverse range of drones. The ASTM standard outlines two methods of compliance: 1) broadcast information locally with onboard equipment; 2) share information widely via a network of UAS Service Suppliers (“USS”). Wing believes that the final rule should allow operators to choose the best Remote ID system for their operation so long as it meets required performance.
  • Balances transparency and privacy. The ASTM standard enables observers on the ground to identify and verify nearby aircraft. However, it incorporates a number of technical mitigations to protect the privacy of drone customers and operators. Wing believes the final rule should incorporate the privacy protections of network Remote ID as described in the standard, and outline clear privacy protection requirements.
  • Keeps our skies open to all. The ASTM standard supports all kinds of operators. Compliance is simple and affordable, and operators can identify themselves without additional equipment or infrastructure. Wing believes that the final rule should allow hobbyists with low-risk, basic-capability aircraft to register their flight intent via the USS network on publicly available smartphone apps. This is consistent with the ASTM standard for non-equipped participants, and similar to authorizations for airspace access under LAANC. Further, Wing believes that community based organizations should be permitted to establish and renew exempt flying sites beyond twelve months.

The ASTM standard demonstrates that Remote ID can be implemented swiftly in a safe, fair, and effective way that maximizes compliance. Wing encourages the FAA to adopt the same inclusive approach in the rule for Remote ID, and looks forward to providing detailed comments to the FAA in the near future.

AAUS Industry Champions Awards 2020 Finalists Announced

Recognition of Australian Unmanned Systems Industry Champions 2020

AAUS is once again proud to be hosting an Industry Awards night to recognise individuals and organisations that have made a significant contribution to the Australian unmanned systems industry.

Over 100 nominations were received for the 5 award categories highlighting the strength of our rapidly developing industry. The finalists make an impressive list of individuals and organisations. Our judging panel had the difficult job of selecting finalists for each category.

Finalists are listed below.

Winners will be announced during the AAUS Gala Dinner that will be held in Canberra on the evening of Thursday March 26, 2020. The Gala Dinner is being held in conjunction with the AAUS RPAS in Australian Skies 2020 conference. Tickets for the Gala Dinner can be purchased via the conference website.

AAUS INDUSTRY CHAMPION AWARDS FINALISTS

The Leadership Award recognises individuals or organisations that lead the way with advocacy work that strives to improve the commercial and / or technological viability of the unmanned system industry.

Finalists:

  • Dr Renee Bartolo (Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment)
  • Andrew Crowe (Mirragin Unmanned Systems)
  • Dr Terry Martin (Nova Systems)
  • Dr Andrew Tridgell (Aerial Robotics Australia, ArduPilot)
  • UAV Challenge (QUT, CSIRO)
  • Rob Whittle (Queensland Police Service)

The Innovation Award recognises organisations that have designed a new product, a new service, a new production or manufacturing process contributing to the advancement of the unmanned systems industry.

Finalists:

  • AUAV (inSite 3D drone data platform)
  • AVT Australia (Micro Gimbal for small UAS)
  • Skyborne Technologies (man packable aerial fire support UAS)
  • Textron Systems Australia (Avionics 2 -distributed avionics for Aerosonde UAS)
  • University of Technology Sydney (artificial Intelligence technologies and ultra-low latency live streaming from drones)

The Education & Safety Award recognises individuals or organisations who demonstrate leadership in educating the unmanned systems industry with particular emphasis of developing a safety-focussed culture.

Finalists:

  • Aviassist (Train the Trainer program for the excluded category)
  • Hover UAV (Tailored complex drone operation training)
  • UAVAIR (Cert III in Aviation (Remote Pilot VLOS) high school program)
  • UAV Training Australia (Specialised and contextualised RePL courses for Government agencies)

The Humanitarian Achievement Award recognises individuals or organisations that demonstrate the role unmanned technologies can play in bettering our world.

Finalists

  • Bushfire and Aviation Unit, Fire and Rescue NSW
  • Global Drone Solutions
  • Mobility Robotics
  • SUAS Troop, 20 Regiment, Royal Australian Army
  • Swoop Aero
  • Team Rubicon Australia

The NextGen Achievement Award recognises young individuals (under 35 yo) that demonstrate elite capability and leadership in their field within the unmanned systems sector.

Finalists

  • Richard Adams (Team Rubicon Australia)
  • Andrew Davies (Taz Drone Solutions)
  • Andrew McKinnon (Australian Defence Force)
  • Eric Peck (Swoop Aero)
  • Amy Steiger (Cardno)
  • Josh Tepper (Swoop Aero)

Award Winners will be announced that the AAUS Gala DInner (held in conjunction with the RPAS in Australian Skies conference 2020) in Canberra on Thursday March 26, 2020.

Redfin Launches ‘Redfin Premier’ Service for Luxury Properties

A Redfin Premier home

Redfin (www.redfin.com), the technology-powered real estate brokerage, has launched a new offering for homes listed at $1 million and above. Redfin Premier builds on Redfin’s service for home sellers, providing specialized marketing to highlight distinguished homes and attract luxury buyers. Every Redfin Premier home will receive drone* and twilight photography, premium brochures and printed materials, and high-end yard signs. Redfin will market Premier homes with additional social media advertising campaigns, postcard mailings to attract local buyers, and international advertising to reach overseas buyers. All of these Premier services are included for Redfin’s listing fee of only 1% provided the client buys their next home with Redfin within one year. The Premier services come in addition to a 3D walkthrough of the home, email and social media marketing, open houses, prominent placement on Redfin.com, and everything that is included for all sellers who list their home with a full-service Redfin agent.

A client selling a million-dollar home would save $15,000 to $20,000 with Redfin Premier compared to a traditional 2.5% to 3% listing commission. The service is launching today in Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Hawaii, Maryland, Orange County, Portland, Sacramento, San Diego and Virginia, and will be rolled out to Redfin’s other large markets over time.

Redfin Premier builds on Redfin’s sales growth in the high-end market and its track record of successfully selling luxury homes. Redfin agents sold over $1 billion in luxury real estate in 2019.

“Redfin Premier is the culmination of a long-term effort to reach luxury customers,” said Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman. “Already, Redfin is a top-15 brokerage for U.S. luxury listings, and one of the only market-leaders gaining luxury share over the past five years. In that time, we’ve increased agent bonuses for high-end sales, introduced concierge service for staging and sprucing up listings, and increased the number of Redfin agents with luxury experience. Our highest-value transaction closed just last year, for a home worth more than $70 million. Luxury customers love our one-on-one personal service, our sophisticated digital campaigns to target local and international luxury buyers, and the accountability to track how those investments lead to online viewings, tours, and ultimately offers. Now with Redfin Premier, we’re investing even more in marketing each of our listings, all while saving a customer enough money in listing fees to buy a new car.”

In Orange County and San Diego, where Redfin offers its concierge program, Redfin Premier customers will get Redfin’s white-glove concierge service as part of the Premier offering. A Redfin concierge will develop a custom plan to maximize the home’s sale price and get it ready to list with services such as painting, staging and landscaping. They’ll schedule the vendors, oversee the work, and make sure the home is ready for a perfect debut. Redfin pays for all the upfront costs, which are taken from the proceeds when the home sells. Redfin ordinarily charges an additional 0.5% for the concierge service in Orange County and San Diego, but this fee will be waived for Redfin Premier clients.

Mia Simon, Redfin director of sell-side strategy, said, “Like Redfin Concierge, the idea for Redfin Premier came from our agents, who helped us design a service that gives clients with distinguished homes extra marketing and attention to sell for the highest price. Sellers at every price point deserve impeccable service, data-driven marketing, easy-to-use technology and great value for their money. With a listing fee as low as 1%, we’re proud to offer an unparalleled service for Redfin Premier clients at an incredible value.”

Visit https://www.redfin.com/why-sell to learn more about selling your home with a Redfin agent.

*Drone photography is not available in areas designated as no-fly zones.

The Redfin listing fee is subject to terms and conditions.