Asmag Interview – Robostate

Asmag Interview

Will lower price encourage the adoption of self-flying drones?

Drones are all set to enter almost every industry in one form or another. However, many of the UAVs that are currently being used are human-operated, making them inefficient and inept. Some companies though, have come up with autonomous drones, offering self-flying UAVs that can identify the best flying routes and tailor assignments depending on the vertical. This, indeed, is the right way for the industry to go and customers should be lining up to purchase them. Except, they are not. When was the last time you saw autonomous drones hovering around a manufacturing plant? Or a critical infrastructure? Like…almost never?

A major reason for the lack of customer adoption is the price. And a Turkish company is marketing its products with this factor in mind. Robostate, headquartered in Istanbul, offers the Surroundrone Autonomous UAV Solution, which is a flexible platform with multiple applications in the security, construction and mining industries.

“We differentiate ourselves with two value propositions: price and support,” said Doruk Çelebi, CEO of Robostate. “We provide a completely autonomous solution at a price where our competitors ask for software only products that do much less. We also offer 24-hour repair guarantees to our local customers which are free of charge.”

“With our proprietary ground control station and charging platform Surroundrone can continuously operate without the need for an on-site operator,” he continued. “Our vision is to create a system capable of continuous operation for several years with only periodic maintenance.”

What’s the technology?

Enabling an end-to-end autonomous UAV solution from flight planning to data processing does require quite a bit of effort. The company’s ground control station, “Drome” as they call it, provides charging, weather monitoring and environmental protection to the UAV. It also acts as a gateway to enable mission management and data transfer over the internet.

“On top of these hardware we have our mission & data management software running in the cloud and our autonomous vehicle software that runs on the drone,” Celebi said.

Can the “price factor” drive demand for this?

According to Celebi, when a business is presented with a solution that both decreases their costs and improve their utility level, they must switch to this new solution because of their responsibility towards their shareholders.

“With every installation, our products and autonomous vehicles in general are proving their worth to enterprises, we believe this will be the main driver for demand,” he said.