Autonomy has always been a critical component of drone technology, but now, it’s being taken to a new level. Meet Airobotics, a Tel Aviv-based company that wants to take humans out of the equation altogether when it comes to drones. After all, they’re called Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for a reason, right?
Comprised of three components, the Airobotics system is a patrol drone that can take care of itself, and almost completely without our help. There’s the drone itself, the base station known as the “Airbase,” and the command software that takes the place of human brains (or at least, their functions). Capable of flying with a 1 kilogram load for half an hour at a time, the UAV can patrol an area, then land itself on its base station autonomously. From there, a robotic arm comes in to change its battery and relieve the drone of its payload — sort of like a robotic pit crew.
This functionality is all contingent upon the Airobotics software that lets humans (yes, we still do serve a purpose) preset flight routes and keep tabs on the drone’s progress with real-time video and data feeds.
The technology has been beta tested by mineral and chemical producer Israel Chemical Ltd. to great success, and the company has raised $28.5 million thus far to continue its mission of making humans obsolete — at least, in this capacity. After all, when you’re completing regular safety checks or inspection drills, the more you can depend on machines, the better, right?
While current use cases for Airobotics are mainly within the mining and oil industries, the company believes that any person or organization that needs to consistently perform repetitive tasks with a high degree of precision could benefit from the autonomous technology. So ultimately, it may not be robots that take over our jobs — it’s the drones we should be worried about.