TECH­NOL­OGY

VIMANA Global’s break­through tech­nol­ogy could po­ten­tially turn ev­ery jour­ney into an au­tonomous flight very soon

LogisticsNews Middle East - - CONTENTS - By Me­hak Sri­vas­tava

VIMANA is a gamechanger in the au­tonomous ae­rial ve­hi­cle busi­ness

Tales of men mount­ing fly­ing de­vices have ex­isted since the be­gin­ning of hu­man civil­i­sa­tion. Sto­ries from an­cient Ara­bia speak of fly­ing car­pets (Dis­ney’s Aladdin per­son­i­fies this in the form of a Magic Car­pet), while Ti­betan books of Tan­tyua and Kan­tyua, as well as trans­lated texts from an­cient Egypt and China men­tion vis­i­tors from ‘the other world’, i.e., space.

The In­dian sa­cred texts called Vedas speak of fly­ing ships, or vi­manas, which trans­ported ‘gods’ from any place, to any place which they de­sired. A pas­sage from Ra­mayana, a Vedic epic that dates back to the fourth/fifth cen­tury, B.C. goes some­thing like this:

“…char­iot that re­sem­bles the sun, that ae­rial and ex­cel­lent char­iot go­ing ev­ery­where at will, re­sem­bling a bright cloud in the sky, and the king got in and the

ex­cel­lent char­iot rose up into the higher at­mos­phere.”

The ex­tract clearly refers to some sort of a fly­ing ve­hi­cle. Vi­manas are also de­scribed in the Ma­hab­harata, an­other an­cient In­dian text.

One re­ally does need to take into ac­count that these sto­ries ex­ist across sev­eral geo­graph­i­cal ar­eas, some thou­sands of miles apart, and have more or less the same con­cept of flight. Spec­u­la­tions on the mat­ter con­tinue,

and un­less some­one is able to suc­cess­fully travel back in time to un­ravel these mys­ter­ies, one would never be able to say for sure if fly­ing ma­chines re­ally did ex­ist or were just a fig­ment of imag­i­na­tion.

In present day time, how­ever, is a com­pany that is in­spired by these very con­cepts of an­cient flights, and trans­lates them for a mod­ern day en­vi­ron­ment. Head­quar­tered in Cal­i­for­nia, and with of­fices in the United States, Mid­dle East, In­dia, Sin­ga­pore, Malaysia, and Rus­sia, VIMANA Global claims to rev­o­lu­tionise the airspace mar­ket with its ur­ban air mo­bil­ity so­lu­tion, com­bin­ing blockchain with cur­rent airspace tech­nol­ogy, and then some.

“There are blockchain com­pa­nies, and then there are airspace com­pa­nies. VIMANA is the first blockchain aero­space com­pany,” proudly de­clares CEO Ev­geni Borisov. “We’re do­ing for aero­space what bit­coin did for the blockchain in 2008. We dig­itlised the airspace and pro­to­coled the sys­tem op­er­a­tions with our knowl­edge.”

A dom­i­nant player in the $1tn blockchain airspace mar­ket, VIMANA has de­signed a break­through tech­nol­ogy, patented and filed with the U.S. Patent and Trade­mark Of­fice, that al­lows the com­pany to com­bine ca­pa­bil­i­ties of an air­plane, he­li­copter, and un­manned ae­rial ve­hi­cle (UAV) on a sin­gle plat­form, and use blockchain tech­nol­ogy to op­er­ate its air­craft and en­able blockchain ap­pli­ca­tions in the air at the same time. VIMANA’S fleet of ver­ti­cal take-off and land­ing au­tonomous ae­rial ve­hi­cles (VTOL AAVS) are a marvel of aero­space en­gi­neer­ing, de­signed to be lo­calised by smart cities, like Dubai, via li­cens­ing deals, to en­able lo­cal mass pro­duc­tion. VIMANA is one of only a hand­ful of aero­space com­pa­nies in the world that have a fly­ing VTOL AAV pro­to­type that was pur­pose built for ur­ban use or use as an air taxi, air limo, or as a dual-pur­pose pas­sen­ger and cargo air ve­hi­cle.

Borisov con­tin­ues: “In 2015, we got a task from a min­ing com­pany to cre­ate a fly­ing radar for se­vere con­di­tions, to get seis­mic data from a gold mine. We in­volved our crew to cre­ate a so­lu­tion, and sud­denly re­alised that we had found the holy grail of ver­ti­cal take-off and land­ing au­tonomous ae­rial ve­hi­cle in­dus­try. We started de­vel­op­ing our project then, and once we launched pro­to­type 1, we set up our com­pany in US, and now we’re go­ing to start an­other com­pany in Europe.”

Ev­geni Borisov and the other co-founders come with plenty of cor­po­rate, en­gi­neer­ing, and ven­ture ex­pe­ri­ence. Borisov him­self has more than 15 years of cor­po­rate ex­ec­u­tive ex­pe­ri­ence, in­clud­ing work­ing as mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor of Toshiba and Phillips. VIMANA is funded with mil­lions of dol­lars raised from an­gel in­vestors.

“One of the big­gest mis­takes in air­craft crashes is hu­man er­ror,” re­marks Borisov. “If we delete the hu­man er­ror fac­tor out of this equa­tion, the whole sys­tem be­comes ro­bust. Nowa­days, 5% of the peo­ple are ca­pa­ble of be­ing pi­lots, do­ing math with their heads and with skilled hands. Our tech­nol­ogy em­ploys airspace for 95% of the re­main­ing pop­u­la­tion, i.e., the pas­sen­gers.”

In De­cem­ber 2017, Vimana Global an­nounced that it closed a multi-mil­lion an­gel round and kicked off its to­ken gen­er­a­tion event (TGE) by open­ing its white list to qual­i­fied en­ti­ties. The com­pany’s goal is to fund blockchain airspace in­ter­na­tional de­vel­op­ment and to as­sign value to us­ing blockchain airspace. Vimana’s TGE seeks to at­tract $35mn via the to­ken sale.

“I love the idea of colonis­ing Mars, I love the vivid idea of it,” says Borisov. “But be­fore colonis­ing Mars, we have a space left which is com­pletely in­hab­ited, sort of like an eighth con­ti­nent—and that’s airspace.”

Borisov recog­nises the need for smart cities to en­act bet­ter trans­porta­tion sys­tems for rapidly ex­pand­ing pop­u­la­tions. He re­marks that in cities like Moscow, where some­times the drive to the air­port takes longer than the ac­tual flight to your des­ti­na­tion, there is sim­ply no space left for ex­pand­ing the al­ready over­bur­dened road trans­port sys­tem. This is where a tech­nol­ogy like VTOL comes into play. VTOL air­crafts can take off, hover, and land ver­ti­cally, much like a he­li­copter. VTOL finds favour in to­day’s land­scape given that they can land and take off from any­where, with­out re­quir­ing too much re­work of the ex­ist­ing space.

Ger­man VTOL com­pany, Lil­ium, has al­ready tested a pro­to­type of its five-seat VTOL jet, which will reach speeds of up to 300 km/h. In­tel-backed Volo­copter—which was pre­vi­ously in talks with Dubai’s Roads and Trans­port Au­thor­ity (RTA) and car­ried out un­manned test flights in Dubai—had its US de­but at Con­sumer Elec­tron­ics Show (CES) 2018 with its 18-ro­tor air taxi pro­to­type known as the Volo­copter VC200. Air­bus too an­nounced the first suc­cess­ful, full-scale test flight of its sin­gle pas­sen­ger, self-pi­loted, elec­tric VTOL air­craft called Va­hana.

So, what makes VIMANA stand out from its com­pe­ti­tion? Borisov an­swers: “It’s not only about the break­through VTOL, it’s about the next-gen airspace. We’re bring­ing the airspace to the next league by pro­vid­ing a de­cen­tralised air traf­fic man­age­ment (ATM), which does not dis­rupt any of the ex­ist­ing air traf­fic man­age­ment sys­tems.” Smart cities like Dubai, Tokyo, Sin­ga­pore, and Mum­bai are ex­pected to de­ploy a lo­calised ver­sion of VIMANA Uni­verse so­lu­tion, which con­sists of VIMANA

Ev­geni Borisov, CEO & founder, VIMANA Global

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