The new Chief Operating Officer at Airobotics is bringing with him chops from Facebook and Google.
The Israeli-based drone startup announced today that Richard Wooldridge would be its new Chief Operating Officer. Wooldridge previously served as the COO at Facebook’s Building 8, which worked to build experimental hardware products such as augmented reality glasses, a smart speaker, video conferencing device and a human-computer interface capable of turning people’s thoughts into digital actions. He also worked previously as COO for Google’s Advanced Technology and Products Group.
Airobotics is the first company in the world to be granted authorization to fly fully automated drones without a pilot, as licensed by the Civil Aviation Authority of Israel. The startup has developed a platform that is fully automated, industrial grade, on-demand and multi-purpose. Its features include a robotic arm for automatic payload and battery loading and an emergency landing parachute.
Wooldridge had previously been an investor in Airobotics. The company secured $42.5 million in its latest funding round, and its other investors include BlueRun Ventures China, as well as Microsoft Ventures and OurCrowd.
The U.S. military is turning its attention to anti-drone detection.
The Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx), which is a United States Department of Defense (DoD) organization focused on how the U.S. military can use emerging technologies, this week announced a partnership with Dedrone, a San Francisco-based startup building drone detection software.
And one of the company’s looking to make a big difference in the drone industry is Kittyhawk, a San Francisco-based software startup.
The startup’s product strategy and product management teams are led by Sonal Baid, an aerospace engineer who has been with the company for about a year. She spoke with The Drone Girl about her predictions for the industry, the biggest surprises when it comes to drones and how startup culture is driving the industry forward.
Drone Girl: How did your background in aerospace engineering get you to where you are today in the drone industry?
As drone companies look to compete with drone industry king DJI, two companies have come up with a unique strategy: combine resources and team up.
Yuneec, a Chinese drone manufacturer known mostly for its Typhoon hobby drone, has partnered with Pix4D, a 3D mapping software company owned by French drone manufacturer Parrot, which is known for its Bebop and AR toy drones.
Looking to get a lower drone insurance rate? Prove you’re a “safe” pilot, and you may pay less than everyone else.
Drone insurance company SkyWatch launched an insurance plan in partnership with insurance and financial services organization Starr Companies. The plan determines insurance rates based upon a pilot’s safety score.
To use it, pilots need to download SkyWatch’s mobile app, where they input their flight plan, enabling the app to gather data based on potential hazards like crowds, roads and airports. The software can analyze what happened during the flight, and give a safety score. Once a pilot has made at least five flights, they are eligible to receive reduced insurance rates based upon their safety score. The app works with a variety of drones, including DJI drones. Continue reading This drone insurance company will alter your rate based on your safety score→
The LAANC program allows drone operators to use an interface from one of four providers that were hand-picked by the FAA — AirMap, Project Wing (an entity of X, formerly known as Google), Rockwell Collins and Skyward — to request approval to fly in restricted airspace. Operators would then receive approval almost instantly.