Despite the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing economic uncertainty, new startups are founded every day. To introduce you to 5 recently founded drone startups, we analyzed 676 startups in the field. All of them develop innovative solutions spanning from last-mile delivery to asset inspection.
The 5 promising drone technology startups you should watch in 2021 were hand-picked based on our data-driven startup scouting approach, taking into account factors such as location, founding year, and relevance of technology, among others. The 676 companies that were analyzed for this report are identified using the StartUs Insights Discovery Platform, covering 1.379.000+ startups & scaleups globally. When you are looking for up-to-date solutions for your innovation units, R&D, or product development department, the StartUs Insights Discovery Platform gives you the most exhaustive collection and ensures you continuously discover new startups, scaleups, and technologies.
Global Startup Heat Map: 5 Drone Startups to Watch
The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights 5 drone startups, developing technology-driven solutions for different industries. Moreover, you can explore global hotspots for drone startups and even download this graphic to include in your next presentation.
Superwake develops Solar & Electric Drones
Drone technology relies on batteries to power their systems. In the recent past, with limitations in solar and battery engineering, drones were not suitable for prolonged use. However, the innovations in both industries enable startups to design and develop solar and battery-powered unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). These advanced drones are able to run longer even without sunlight. Today, startups develop drones that operate long distances and are suitable for applications such as night surveillance, geographical mapping, product delivery, wildlife monitoring, and disaster management.
Superwake is a Canadian startup that develops endurance drones powered by solar cells for surveillance applications. The startup offers its UAVs for wildlife conservation, wildfire detection, forest resource inventory tracking, and remote surveillance. Superwake’s SW-96 RPAS is an ultra-long UAV featuring a range of 40 km and a maximum altitude of 3.000 m. Further, the UAV does not require a launch catapult or landing gear as it is hand-launched and belly-landed without damaging the payload and aircraft. The drone employs 2x optical and 8x digital zoom as well as HD video to deliver high-quality images and recordings for precise analysis.
Skyfarer builds UAVs for Medical Deliveries
Drones are increasingly being used to improve product delivery in remote or inaccessible areas. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, drones are used to deliver medicines and essentials in remote locations. Startups advance the material and energy sources used in drones to develop lightweight and robust drones that deliver goods. These include, for example, drone solutions that integrate fleet management and delivery automation to provide autonomous systems that save time and reduce costs.
Based in the UK, startup Skyfarer builds drones for the healthcare industry to deliver medical payloads. Skyfarer offers fast and direct transportation of blood, pharmaceuticals, vaccinations, and aseptic equipment. The startup’s drones are not limited by road congestion, thus ensuring timely delivery of the packages. The startup utilizes the speed and autonomy of drone technology to address the transportation discontinuities in medical delivery.
Ware creates Autonomous Drones for Warehouses
Remotely piloted aerial systems (RPAS) enable warehouse automation applications. For example, drone fleets scan through the warehouse inventory to tag and record package-specific details. Warehouse UAVs improve the efficiency of inventory management and save time for inventory auditing and tracking. Further, innovation in drone technology combines advanced learning algorithms and cloud technologies for robust warehouse automation solutions.
Ware is a US-based startup, and an official partner of Skydio, developing an enterprise-grade supply chain digitization platform featuring smart UAVs and inventory digitalization solutions for warehouses. The drones autonomously scan through the inventory to capture and analyze images. Additionally, the company provides a cloud-based inventory management service, Ware Cloud, that stores and visualizes the processed data. Ware Cloud digitalizes the warehouse and features integrated tools to manage the inventory to find patterns and anomalies. This enables efficient inventory data management for warehouse owners and shipping companies.
Sky Visor produces Inspection Drones
Inspections are the first step in any maintenance process. However, manual inspections, especially for remote or inaccessible areas, are labor-intensive. This is where UAVs save time and costs while improving worker safety. Further, drones deliver accurate insights into physical damages before moving to the maintenance phase. Therefore, UAVs provide an easier way to monitor assets and autonomous technology further simplifies maintenance.
French startup Sky Visor devises drones for wind turbine inspections. The startup’s fully autonomous drone is portable, easy to deploy, and completes inspections within 20 minutes. Sky Visor’s UAVs capture high-quality images for every 2 meters and cover the 4-sides of the blade for accurate examination. The integrated machine learning algorithm enables the user to track defects through live feedback from the drones. Sky Visor’s autonomous data acquisition drones minimize operation downtimes and expenses for windmill maintenance.
Aero41 designs UAVs for Crop Protection
In the agriculture industry, drones assist smart farming and site-specific crop farming and also serve as replacements for helicopters. UAVs help farmers protect their crops against pests and weeds through spot treatment, which is the prime drawback in using helicopters. Aerial image feeds from the drones also provide valuable feedback in regards to a potential infestation, which is otherwise only recognizable once the crops are already damaged. Startups develop solutions to promote drone implementation for crop protection, aerial surveillance, and early pest detection, among others.
Aero41 is a Swiss startup that provides autonomous drone solutions for crop protection. The startup’s machine control interface features a robust and light platform to plan and execute crop treatments quickly and efficiently. Aero41’s drones provide over 6 hours of autonomy and a maximum range of 10 km thereby relieving workers from spot inspection that consumes time and capital. The startup’s smart and ground following UAVs ensure targeted and spot application of chemicals to eliminate pests. Additionally, drone implementation reduces labor-cost and optimizes crop growth with timely pest identification and control.
How will drones impact your company?
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