Many drone companies are becoming household names, such as DJI, Autel, and Parrot. But this doesn’t mean there aren’t other companies doing even more amazing things in the drone space and Draganfly is no exception.
In fact, Draganfly has a list of “firsts” in the drone industry that’s quite extensive, according to Draganfly Chairman and CEO Cameron Chell.
“We have a full product line that ranges from ground drones right through to fixed winged, vertical takeoff and landing drones, as well as a 20-year history with no fly-aways and proprietary battery management system, as well as proprietary batteries,” he said. “Draganfly commercialized the first quadcopter and put the first commercial sensors on drones and that’s when the industry really started to take off. We saw how cameras on drones became useful and we’re the first to commercially do that. We developed the first six-bladed and eight-bladed quadcopter and the first drone to save a life. Our drone was also the first to be inducted into the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.”
Since the beginning, Draganfly’s drones and unmanned aerial systems have paved the way for many others to follow. Two decades ago, the idea of using drones was mainly aimed at operations such as law enforcement, search and rescue, and similar mission-critical applications. This meant the engineering teams had to not only design reliable, stable, and high quality aircraft for the job, but also the software and programming had to be created to maximize the performance, efficiency, and results of this new form of aerial robotics.
Of course, now many drone pilots are enjoying consumer models for snapping photos and video of everyday things, but for the really heavy and demanding tasks, Draganfly is the go-to. So many technologies that we enjoy with many other drones were firsts here, such as video (2001), stabilized video (2006), 2-axis stabilized camera (2010), and countless innovations and patents.
Not limited to only airborne robots, the company also manufactures the ground-based DraganScout, which can run, climb stairs, and overcome other obstacles. Custom configurable with a variety of payloads, it is a tactical tool that can move up to 11 mph, according to company officials.
The Tango2 fixed-wing drone has been upgraded for 2019 from its original 2006 design to offer a two-hour flight time while carrying a 2.2 pound payload. This catapult launched aircraft offers versatility for fully automated flights, company officials explained.
The more familiar quad multi-rotor machines come in a variety of portable models, including the Commander, Draganflyer X4-P, and Guardian. Whether for law enforcement, firefighting, or other emergency services, quick deployment is key here.
North American Based
Draganfly is based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in Canada.
Why is this important?
Well, there has been a good bit of discussion the past few months regarding concerns over Chinese manufactured drones. This led to the U.S. Department of the Interior grounding 800 of it Chinese drones pending a deeper level security review over whether these aircraft are sending valuable data, such as images or other location-based information, back home.
“What people want from drones is data, of course, but they also want to know that it is secure,” said Chell. “Our biggest advantage in the North American supply chain, where applicable, is a private autopilot system that ensures data security.”
“As a result of the latest bans on Chinese manufactured drones, going forward I think the U.S. military will only deploy North American manufactured drones,” he continued. “I think in regard to other U.S. government agencies, there will be some patches built to ensure low cost Chinese drones are secure and so there will be some exemptions for Chinese drones for U.S. government and infrastructure work. Those exemptions will revolve around drones that have third-party security attached to them to ensure their data cannot be hacked. I also think that Chinese manufacturers will make strides and offer assurances that on some of their drone systems there will be data security. For mission critical work, however, the default will be to go with a North American manufacturer.”
As you can imagine, this company always has the wheels turning. While continually advancing its current line up, there is always the possibility of new levels of systems, as well as more advanced hardware and software and services.
It will also continue to offer fully customized solutions to fit specific needs, as well as other perks, such as top-tier support.
The sky is the limit for drone tech today, and the folks at Draganfly are raising the bar as they have for two decades now. It will be exciting and interesting to see how things will grow and advance in the coming years!