Sponsored by The British Robotics Seed Fund
23 Nov 21. Cleo Robotics Launches Rugged Indoor Drone. Cleo Robotics, the first company to successfully develop a stable and highly maneuverable ducted bi-rotor drone, announces the availability of the Dronut X1 for law-enforcement, industrial inspection, construction and defense markets.
Cleo’s patented thrust vectoring technology has, for the first time ever, made the hyper-efficient ducted fan design stable in flight. The Dronut’s completely enclosed propellers enable the X1 to safely bounce off objects and people and is a fraction of the size of similarly featured drones.
For industrial and commercial applications, the Dronut X1 now enables unmanned inspections of dangerous and confined spaces (tanks, pressure vessels, crawl spaces, etc.) where no drone or robot could previously go. The Dronut X1 is a portable, rugged and reliable intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) solution for GPS-denied environments making it ideal for defense use cases. Law enforcement benefits from a highly intelligent device that can scout areas in advance of deploying officers into high-risk situations. For facility security, the drone is ideal as a flying surveillance camera.
Weighing under 16 ounces, and measuring only 6.5” across, the Dronut X1 is the first professional-grade, collision-tolerant, safe-to-touch, intelligent drone built with a patented, enclosed ducted-fan design that prevents damage to its propellers, carries advanced payloads and can come in direct contact with people without risk of harm. It can operate around sensitive equipment and in low-light conditions.
The Dronut X1’s industry-leading intelligence and sensing includes LiDAR-powered obstacle detection, and a sensor suite built for image and data collection with HD video/pictures and 3D point cloud output. The Dronut X1 pilot assist – powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon – makes flying easier and safer, allowing the operator to focus on collecting the data they need instead of manually managing the drone’s flight. The frame is built from carbon fiber composite materials ensuring durability and reliability even in tight spaces.
“Built to solve what had been thought of as unsolvable technical challenges with ducted fan aerial vehicles, we developed and tested the Dronut platform through rigorous and innovative engineering. We are excited to see the impact that the Dronut X1 will have on the industries that it is designed to serve,” said Omar Eleryan, founder and CEO, Cleo Robotics. “Having worked in the oil industry, I experienced the dangers and costs associated with confined space inspections. The Dronut X1 is the solution that removes the need to risk humans’ safety on the job.” (Source: UAS VISION)
23 Nov 21. US Navy and Boeing Conduct Ground Testing of MQ-25. The U.S. Navy and Boeing are completing ground tests of the MQ-25 Stingray test asset at Chambers Field onboard Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia.
“The Stingray is the future of naval aviation. It is the first aircraft carrier-based unmanned air vehicle (UAV),” said Rear Adm. John Meier, Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic. “The ground testing is another step toward the teaming of manned and unmanned aircraft platforms. Integrating platforms like the MQ-25 into the air wing will increase their lethality and reach.”
The MQ-25 Stingray introduces unmanned aerial refueling and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to the air wing that will extend the range, operational capacity and lethality of the Carrier Air Wing and Carrier Strike Group.
“What we are doing today is deck handling,” said Rick Schramm, the technical lead engineer material review board. “We have a system installed on the airplane that allows the aircraft to be engines up, power running and taxing by controllers on the deck.”
Schramm described that they are using painted lines to section areas of the flight deck to test how the MQ-25 would be able to maneuver on board an aircraft carrier.
The MQ-25 is the first move toward the Navy’s strategic vision of unified, interoperable networks and systems architecture. It is paving the way for future unmanned systems to be introduced to the air wing and aircraft carrier environment.
Chief Aviation Machinist Mate Michael Solle said the UAS capabilities of the MQ-25 will allow the F/A-18 to return to its primary mission set as well as extend its strike range and enhance maneuverability.
The Boeing-owned MQ-25 recently completed its first aerial refueling of an F-35C Lightning II aircraft, marking the third refueling flight evolution for the test aircraft as a whole. Once operational, MQ-25 will refuel every receiver-capable carrier-based aircraft.
The MQ-25 is intended to be one of the Navy’s fastest major defense acquisition programs to reach initial operational capability. (Source: UAS VISION)
22 Nov 21. Alpine 4 Holdings Subsidiary, Vayu Aerospace Corporation, Announces its Latest Class of Infiltration and Anti Airspace Drones. Alpine 4 Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALPP), a leading operator and owner of small market businesses, subsidiary Vayu Aerospace Corporation, announces its newest drones, referred to as the “Bully Class”. This class of drones is in response to increased requests from Federal and Local law enforcement agencies as well as inquiries from varying branches of the military. Two aircraft are being developed; the first is named, “The Knuckle-Buster,” and it’s in the beginning stages of production. The second drone has been named “The Pugilist.” These two smaller drones are suitable for a multitude of environments, with “infiltration” and “anti-airspace” use cases initially in mind.
“The Knuckle-Buster is a compact, “stacked” quad-copter constructed from 18-layer carbon-fiber that we produce in house. The carbon fiber makes it very light and durable,” says Nathan Grier, Vayu’s Lead Operator and designer of the Knuckle-Buster. “it’s very capable and will be adaptable to carry a microphone and camera. It will also be able to carry and release Class- C flash bang or other non-lethal deterrent devices. Autonomous capabilities are in the works as well allowing for uses in many scenarios with law enforcement and military applications.”
TK Eppley, President of Vayu Aerospace Corporation, had this to say: “At Vayu Aerospace, we’re committed to redefining the art of the possible through the manufacturing and designing of our American Made drones. We are excited to have been asked to rethink small drones for law enforcement and military use cases. The “Bully Class” drones will be offered at a lower price point which allows for greater procurement opportunities without going through a bid process. Pricing will range from $3000-$3500. These drones will be produced in-house with sister company, Quality Circuit Assembly (QCA). Working with QCA has allowed for our team to make changes quickly and more efficiently, reducing turnaround times from months to weeks, giving us our competitive advantage. This has been critical in navigating supply-chain constraints. Our team of amazing engineers are eager to dive into this new project.”
Kent Wilson, CEO of Alpine 4, had this to say: “Building upon what TK has stated, we are immensely proud of our development team at Alpine 4 corporate and Vayu in leading this unique class of drones. The Bully Class of drones are meant to be supplied in a higher volume, lower price point and will fit nicely into the current G1 and US-1 offering, providing a full spectrum of commercial drones. Additionally, I am pleased to state again that with the collaboration of QCA, our AVA1 avionics platform has now been fully integrated into the G1 platform.”
Vayu Aerospace Corporation currently resides in the A4 Aerospace Portfolio and is considered a Driver from the company’s DSF business model.
About Alpine 4 Holdings: Alpine 4 Holdings, Inc. (ALPP) is a NASDAQ traded conglomerate that acquires businesses that fit into its disruptive DSF business model of Drivers, Stabilizers, and Facilitators. At Alpine 4, we understand the nature of how technology and innovation can accentuate a business. Our focus is on how the adaptation of new technologies, even in brick-and-mortar businesses, can drive innovation. We also believe that our holdings should benefit synergistically from each other, have the ability to collaborate across varying industries, spawn new ideas, and create fertile ground for competitive advantages.
Four principles at the core of our business are Synergy. Innovation. Drive. Excellence. At Alpine 4, we believe synergistic innovation drives excellence. By anchoring these words to our combined experience and capabilities, we can aggressively pursue opportunities within and across vertical markets. We deliver solutions that not only drive industry standards, but also increase value for our shareholders. (Source: PR Newswire)
The British Robotics Seed Fund is the first SEIS-qualifying investment fund specialising in UK-based robotics businesses. The focus of the fund is to deliver superior returns to investors by making targeted investments in a mixed basket of the most innovative and disruptive businesses that are exploiting the new generation of robotics technologies in defence and other sector applications.
Automation and robotisation are beginning to drive significant productivity improvements in the global economy heralding a new industrial revolution. The fund allows investors to benefit from this exciting opportunity, whilst also delivering the extremely attractive tax reliefs offered by the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS). For many private investors, the amount of specialist knowledge required to assess investments in robotics is not practical and hence investing through a fund structure makes good sense.
The fund appoints expert mentors to work with each investee company to further maximise the chance of success for investors. Further details are available on request.