Interview with Niv Russo at Airobotics
Welcome to our first interview with Niv Russo, the Vice President of Aviation and Compiance at Airobotics.
Airobotics has developed a fully automated, data-driven drone solution, certified to fly without human operators, which is a world-first precedence.
Airobotics eliminates the need for skilled and expensive drone operators. Customers run missions to monitor, inspect, survey, and secure industrial facilities. Airobotics solution includes a drone, software, and a robotic docking station.
To address the unique needs of the world’s most complex industrial environments, Airobotics has developed a drone platform that is industrial grade, on-demand and multi-purpose. Airobotics empowers complex industrial companies to leverage the power of drones without the need for skilled and expensive drone operators.
Only human operated drone business models existed in the market until Airobotics started operating. At the time, companies could either hire a third-party drone operator, or develop an in-house drone program. Additionally, hiring drone operators proved to be costly, lacked the precision of a machine and were not available on demand. Overall companies ended up spending a lot of money on piloted drone operations, whether the operation was in-house or supplied by a third-party drone service provider.
With Airobotics, we introduced a service model of a fully autonomous, self-sufficient, robotic system, that relies on computer algorithms to operate drones. This fully automated system takes care of the drone’s pre-flight checks, health monitoring, weather condition monitoring, basic maintenance, launch, fly, return to base, as well as payload and battery replacements. Our system is certified by Aviation Authorities in various countries, and for our customers, we take care of the technology as well as regulation.
What makes Airobotics different and unique is that it is the only solution that automates the entire operation. Airobotics’ automation extends from pre-flight checks all the way to automatic download and transmission of the data that’s being gathered. More than that, it also extends across the entire operation, from when the drone is on the ground to when it’s in the air and back on the ground.
Additionally, by taking the drone pilot out of the equation, we removed the most expensive and hard-to-find element of industrial drone operations.
Airobotics’ unique features include:
- Airobotics’ Platform is industrial grade, durable & weather resistant: The Airbase is completely sealed, waterproof, durable, and corrosion resistant. More than that, the Airbase is made from a rugged, industrial grade exterior.
- Multiple payloads & battery swapping capabilities: the Airobotics’ drone system has the unique capability of swapping its own batteries and payloads. Payloads and batteries are automatically exchanged with the robotic swapping mechanism. This allows for a diversity of payloads and mission types.
- Fully Automated Platform: The Airobotics platform is able to automatically self-launch as well as land time after time accurately. By taking the drone pilot and operator out of the equation, Airobotics removes the most expensive and hard to find component of industrial drone operations.
- Software & Insightful Analytics: Airobotics software can be accessed anywhere and anytime, enabling users to program, control and manage missions in one click. Designed for simplicity, raw aerial data is processed, transforming it into concise, actionable insights.
With the Optimus drone being a truly autonomous solution, what are the biggest advantages using your system for surveying, mining and security applications?
A huge advantage is that Airobotics is the only solution that automates the entire operation. Airobotics’ automation extends from pre-flight checks all the way to an automatic download and transmission of the data that’s being gathered. More than that, it extends across the entire operation, from when the drone is on the ground to when it’s in the air and back on the ground. The Airobotics system is uniquely designed to self-launch and land the drone and is totally unmanned. Also, the Airobotics platform has multiple payloads & battery swapping capabilities. Additionally, the platform is industrial grade, durable and weather resistant. Drones have the potential to completely transform the way, and speed in which critical business processes are handled.
Can you give us a short story of customer success with your solution?
By sending a drone, endangerment of personnel can be prevented. Security and emergency response, is a good example of what could be, but doesn’t necessarily have to be a substitute, rather an additional patrol device around a factory’s perimeter.
At Intel Israel’s facility, one of our customers, we replaced the car patrol with a routine drone flight that allows the security personnel to monitor the live feed from a control center. We have worked with Intel’s Fabrication facility in Israel since 2015. Intel is the world’s second largest and second highest valued semiconductor chip makers.
Another example, relevant for any facility really, in the event of a fire, or any other type of emergency, a drone can be launched immediately to use as the “eye in the sky” and prevent endangerment of personnel.
The Optimus drone allows you to reduce man from the workflow, how many people use the system within the daily workflow and how much impact on a business is there? (maybe costs, personnel, etc)
Normally, VLOS operations are required to hold a remote pilot (aka pilot in command) on site, who is oftentimes required to enter dangerous areas to maintain a direct line of site with the aircraft. By removing the need for VLOS operations, BVLOS drone flights greatly improves the safety of the site operations. By transitioning to a “man-on-the-loop”, there’s one person supervising the flight on the loop from the Remote Operations Center (ROC).
What qualifications and training do you need to manage the BVLOS?
It depends on the local regulation. This varies from one country to another. In Israel for example, we have a waiver for a pilot in command, as well as an internal Airobotics course qualification.