Drone docks have been one of many largest developments in 2023, with large drone firms like Skydio and DJI constructing docking stations particular to their drone. However what do you do in the event you’re a drone operator who owns a number of plane from completely different firms? This platform-agnostic drone dock from StrixDrones may be the answer.
Aptly named DroneDock, it’s a drone dock that can help just about any drone. The patented docking tech is made by Israeli-based drone firm StrixDrones, which was based in 2019. StrixDrones claims it’s the “solely common and absolutely autonomous drone docking station” accessible available on the market at the moment.
Drone docks have turning into a well-liked means of enabling drones to take off, land and recharge with out really needing a human operator bodily with the drone. This dock (like many others) is tremendous heavy so it’s not simply stolen, even when ignored in publicly-accessible areas; the DroneDock weighs about 3,000 kilos.
Right here’s the way it works: a DroneDock is positioned at one block (let’s say a medical lab). A drone flies from there to a hospital to ship take a look at outcomes. It would then fly on to a different DroneDock the place it costs its battery, downloads a brand new mission and takes off once more — even perhaps dropping off yet another package deal whereas it’s at it.
For now, StrixDrones is providing it up in two sizes, the Strix1600 and Strix2100. The Strix2100 is healthier for bigger drones and eVTOL, and it additionally options inside local weather management, sensible charging, exterior telemetric climate system, actual time alerts and multi-station connections.
Each can be accessible for lease or buy. However as a result of items are made to be customizable, there aren’t at present any off-the-shelf items accessible. StrixDrones additionally wouldn’t share any type of value estimates, solely stating that “our customized options are priced based on the consumer’s wants and particular requests.”
For what it’s price, enterprise pricing isn’t clear throughout many drone manufacturers.However for context, the DJI Dock with DJI Matrice 30 tends to run about $30,000. The DJI Matrice 30 Enterprise prices about $10,000 by itself, which might put the DJI Dock at roughly $20,000. Right here’s a have a look at the DJI Dock in motion:
What’s the good thing about a platform-agnostic drone dock?
Not like the present docking programs available on the market at the moment which can be designed to work with particular drones (such because the Atlas 300 from FlytBase and Hextronics, which is designed particularly for the DJI M300 drone), StrixDrones’ DroneDock has a common, modular-designed touchdown pad in order that just about any drone made by any producer (together with eVTOL drones), can land with out particular changes.
For operators who use a number of drones from completely different makers, DroneDock permits them to make use of the identical dock to help all their drones — thus making fleets extra productive, environment friendly, and cost-effective. It additionally provides flexibility if their fleet expands. If they’ve a drone and drone dock from one maker that they resolve they need to cease utilizing in favor of one other drone, they’d solely have to amass a brand new drone, quite than a brand new drone and a dock.
In its advertising and marketing supplies, StrixDrones has been calling it each a completely autonomous ‘drone airport’ and a ‘drone supply mailbox system.’ Each comparisons aren’t fairly proper — in any case, there’s no mail courier, no safety screening, and nobody ready to board a aircraft.
And airports home a number of plane directly; this DroneDock is able to holding simply one by one. (although individuals looking for an answer to retailer a number of drones at one time may look to the Strix DroneHive).
What makes the docks a bit airport-like are that they supply shelter for the drones (they securely seal the drone when it’s not flying) and a refueling supply (the drone costs by the dock). Charging is completed by way of induction by a patent-pending Good Charger which, once more, is platform-agnostic so it may possibly help most drones.
And, the DroneDock has different nifty security and security measures, equivalent to Detect and Keep away from radar to make sure secure takeoff and touchdown. A second instance is an RF booster and 5G communication module supporting communication the place RF/Mobile is just not steady.
A made in America drone dock
However whereas the drone makers are headquartered in Israel, DroneDock itself is manufactured in Dayton, Ohio at a StrixDrone manufacturing facility that opened roughly a yr in the past. In addition to having a pair full-time workers in Ohio, StrixDrones additionally subcontracts with native materials suppliers in Dayton, together with RAM Precision Industries and NCT Applied sciences Group.
Exterior of Dayton, StrixDrones additionally runs a enterprise improvement workplace in Miami, Florida. American-made drones and drone merchandise have been of vital significance, particularly as of late. Actually, any federal branches of presidency require that the drones and drone merchandise used are made within the USA.
The corporate mentioned it intends to rent a further 10 workers within the close to time period, including extra STEM-related jobs to Dayton and probably contributing to what some locals are hoping would be the metropolis’s emergence as a nationwide tech hub. Although, different Strix drone merchandise, such because the Strix DroneHive, aren’t made within the U.S.
Who’re the most important StrixDrones Docking Station clients?
The primary Strix2100 DroneDocks are being despatched to Spright, which is the drone supply division of Air Strategies. Air Strategies’ Spright division launched in August 2021 to construct a drone-based community to ship medical-related provides and gear throughout the U.S. Amongst Spright’s operations embody a $16 million settlement with German drone supply large Wingcopter to function the Wingcopter 198 drones all through the Hutchinson Regional Well being System, in Hutchinson, Kansas.
However Spright additionally makes use of extra than simply Wingcopter drones. It’s additionally flying Blueflite and RigiTech plane, each plane can land on the DroneDock. Blueflite, which has been within the enterprise of drone supply since 2018, relies in Michigan and builds a patented drone that stands out primarily for its distinctive, all-electrical drone design with vertical take-off and touchdown capabilities. RigiTech relies in Switzerland.
StrixDrones additionally says its DroneDock is army grade, thus able to operations together with being deployed alongside borders to help with nationwide safety or for implementation throughout army missions.
The corporate additionally mentioned its dock could be relevant in sectors together with agriculture, oil and gasoline, mining, delicate infrastructure, and emergency and first responses.