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Will This Handheld Quadcopter Find Its Niche In Asia?

July 29, 2019

Via Aeronáutica SDLE.

Small enough to be held in the palm of one’s hand, the Individual Recognition Platform (IRP) is among the nimblest UAVs ever manufactured by a European company. Spain’s Aeronáutica SDLE introduced the IRP at the FEINDEF 2019 arms show in Madrid last May. This month the company announced it was “working on equipping its UAS with artificial intelligence.” This allows the IRP to “detect shapes and spaces” and broadens its usefulness. Among the scenarios where the IRP can be deployed are navigating remote areas, environmental intelligence, emergency search and rescue, and infrastructure security.

A distinctive feature of the IRP is the pilot or operator carries it in their person and they can fly it indoors. When powered by AI, the IRP should possess a remarkable awareness of its surroundings and even assist the human pilot with navigation inputs.  In its latest press release Aeronáutica SDLE revealed it was “working on software solutions to anticipate future demand.” Three particular fields it expects to have breakthroughs soon are a fully autonomous micro-UAV that can “raise the quality of the environment”; the company envisions a drone performing deliveries of parcels and other physical objects. This has massive potential for both industrial and commercial activities.

Another field is analytics. Aeronáutica SDLE are convinced measuring wellness and other relevant data, when harnessed by AI, will have positive outcomes for people. To this end, the company has plans for developing analytics software “to motivate the user towards a healthier and more beneficial lifestyle.” Given the company’s deep expertise in unmanned systems and navigational tools, agriculture is the third specific field where Aeronáutica SDLE sees opportunities. In fact, the company wants to adapt its AI and robotics to produce autonomous machines equipped for maintaining crop production. It’s now possible for “intelligent robots [to]…plan, plant, irrigate, fertilize, and harvest based on continuous information flow received through sensors.”

While it’s true these three activities are now mainstream, with both startups and big name manufacturers entering them, Aeronáutica SDLE’s advantage is its association with Spain’s leading science and technology institutions. This allows its teams to deliver products at a much faster pace and tailor these based on end user’s requirements. The company is also unafraid of emerging markets and has built strong connections beyond the European Union (EU).

As for the IRP, the drone’s newness and modularity are a boon. If Aeronáutica SDLE continues to pursue emerging markets, strong rewards await in Asia, where at least a handful of trends should boost the demand for unmanned security tools. These are:

  • Continuous growth of cities as central governments plan entire urban enclaves that combine vast residential spaces with commercial centers. This means physical security remains a premium as everything from commercial amenities to public infrastructure requires constant monitoring.
  • The widespread adoption of ultra-fast internet connectivity among Asia’s largest cities resulting in a new “ecosystem” of wireless tools that perform jobs along with humans. This applies to both private security organizations and law enforcement agencies.
  • As national economies keep growing in the 2020s, critical infrastructure needs to be protected more than ever. Airports, data centers, electricity providers, fossil fuel refineries and storage sites, road and rail networks, vital utilities, and government offices must have round-the-clock security. An autonomous element to the human security team enhances their effectiveness.
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