Israeli drone start-up awarded unique US operations waiver
Airobotics, a Petah Tikva-based start-up that manufactures industrial drones, has become the first company to receive a US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certificate of waiver to initiate Beyond Visual Line of Sight operations.
The FAA certificate permits Airobotics to fly automated drone operations without a human observer maintaining a visual line of sight on the drone. Airobotics can therefore conduct drone activity anywhere on Earth from its Remote Operations Center in Scottsdale, Arizona. That facility is set to become the company’s global headquarters as worldwide operations continue expanding.
The company collects aerial data to address the needs of complex industrial environments - including mining, seaports, and oil and gas facilities. In September 2017, Airobotics opened a division focusing on homeland security and defense.
“We recently opened our US headquarters in Arizona and this latest certification opens the gateways to offering American mining companies, seaports, major construction projects, and in the future smart cities, an optimal means of increasing efficiency and safety while decreasing operational costs,” said Airobotics CEO and co-founder Ran Krauss. “As our unique pilotless drone technology and industrial grade platform continues breaking new ground, we are able to provide customers with a more accurate and frequent data-driven solution that is the only one of its class in the industry.”
Named as one of The Wall Street Journal’s top 25 tech companies to watch this year, Airobotics was certified by the Civil Aviation Authority of Israel to fly fully automated, pilotless drones in March 2017, after a two-year testing and product verification process based on international standards for unmanned aerial vehicles. The company also holds a commercial license from the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority.
The company’s automatic platform is comprised of three parts: “Optimus” – a high-capacity drone capable of flying 30-minute missions with a one-kg. mission-specific payload; “Airbase” – a fully-automated base station from which the drone launches and lands without human intervention; and “Software” – a dynamic platform enabling users to control and manage missions with one click.
In October, Airobotics announced the receipt of $30 million in a fourth round of funding, bringing its total capital raised to $101m. The increased finance will enable the company to further scale operations in the United States.
Pavilion Capital led the round of funding in partnership with BlueRun Ventures, Charles River Ventures, Jerusalem-based OurCrowd and private investors.
OPTIMUS, A DRONE manufactured by Airobotics, is seen during a demonstration for Reuters in Petah Tikva in 2017.