Lucid D1Drone400x275Defiance Ventures, a Charlotte, N.C.-based venture capital firm, has announced its investment in Lucid Drone Technologies, which develops and manufactures autonomous drones for labor-intensive tasks such as commercial cleaning and spraying. Terms of the investment were not disclosed.


FirstIZRapidSOS 400x275RapidSOS and FIRST iZ have announced a partnership to provide emergency first responders and 911 dispatchers with a system to remotely and autonomously dispatch drones. With the click of a button in the RapidSOS Portal, a drone can be automatically dispatched to the site of any alarms or incidents reported.


StockpileReports400x275Stockpile Reports, a solutions provider that serves more than 300 companies in the bulk materials industry, has announced it will build out its automated drone program with American Robotics’ Scout System. The deployment will allow Stockpile Reports and its users to access the benefits of commercial drones, including beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) missions. With more than 10,000 sand and gravel mines, and more than 3,000 ready mix and asphalt plants in the U.S. alone, the companies aim to deploy autonomous drone systems to address market demand for the technology.


CAE Volocopter400x275Aviation training firm CAE has teamed up with Volocopter, which is developing urban air mobility (UAM) services, to develop, certify, and deploy an innovative pilot training program for electric vehicle takeoff and landing (eVTOL) operations. The eVTOL pilot training program aims to develop the “pilot workforce of the future” to ensure safe introduction of eVTOL operations globally. The program will leverage CAE’s advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, mixed reality, as well as data analytics and Volocopter’s understanding of requirements for integration into the UAM system.


MellerOptics400x275Meller Optics, a Providence, R.I.-based company that provides optics for defense, medical, laser and industrial markets, has announced custom fabricated sapphire windows and domes aimed at protecting cameras, detectors, and sensors on military and commercial drones designed for use in harsh environments.


ParrotANAFI400x275Parrot, a Paris-based drone manufacturer, has announced that its ANAFA Ai is the first drone to use 4G as its main data link between the drone and the operator. The drone will be available in the second half of 2021 through its enterprise partners and other drone reseller networks.


AmericanRoboticsDrone400x275American Robotics, which develops autonomous commercial drone systems, has announced a partnership with Scientific Applications & Research Associates (SARA) to advance beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations in the National Airspace System. The goal is to unlock the $100 billion commercial drone market, the companies said.


WalmartDroneUp400x275Walmart has announced it is making an investment in DroneUp, a nationwide drone services provider, following successful trials of at-home COVID-19 self-collection kits. The company said the investment will continue the company’s work toward developing scalable last-mile delivery solutions. Financial terms of the investment were not released.


DronesReport FrostSullivan400x275A new analysis by Frost & Sullivan on the global commercial unmanned aerial systems (UAS) market shows a $22.28 billion market by 2025, up from a $9.43 billion market in 2020. Spurring the growth are advances in autonomy and artificial intelligence, as well as workforce cost reduction and data collection that shortens the time it takes to produce results. The firm said the market will experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.8% through the next five years.


Skydio3DScan400x275Skydio, which manufactures drone and autonomous flight technology, has announced the general availability of its Skydio 3D Scan adaptive scanning software, which adds artificial intelligence to automate photographic data collection and mapping tasks, ranging from infrastructure asset inspection to crime and accident scene reconstruction. The software is now available for Skydio 2, with Skydio X2 availability coming soon. The software can be purchased as an optional add-on to any Skydio 2, starting at $2,999 per drone per year, or as part of new vehicle and software bundles.


PerceptoSpotBase400x275Boston Dynamics’ robotic dog Spot is getting a “dog house.” Percepto, which develops autonomous inspection services for drones, has launched the Percepto Base for Spot, which offers an end-to-end autonomous cycle for outdoor inspection, keeping the robot protected in extreme weather conditions and safe from damage or theft.


AmericanRobotics Scout 400x275Ondas Holdings, which develops software-based wireless broadband technology, has announced an agreement to acquire American Robotics, which develops commercial drone systems that can operate beyond-visual-line-of-sight without a human operator on the ground. The $70.6 million acquisition (via a mixture of cash and equity securities) will integrate the two companies’ technology platforms to allow for the improved maintenance, monitoring and operation of critical infrastructure, the companies said in a statement.


PrecisionAI 400x275Precision AI, a computer vision and robotics company dedicated to sustainable farming practices, has announced closing $20 million in equity and grant funding. The seed round was co-led by At One Ventures (founded by GoogleX co-founder Tom Chi) and the Industrial Innovation Venture Fund of BDC Capital. The new financing will support the company’s work on a disruptive precision farming platform that deploys swarms of artificially intelligent drones to dramatically reduce herbicide use in row crop agriculture.


KrogerDeliveryDrone400x275The Kroger Co. and Drone Express have announced a pilot program to offer grocery delivery via autonomous drones, expanding the retailer’s ecosystem to provide customers with “anything, anytime, anywhere.” The pilot program will take flight this spring in the Midwest, the companies said in a statement.


IngenuityFlying400x275NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter has a new mission. Having proven that powered, controlled flight is possible on the Red Planet, the Ingenuity experiment will soon embark on a new operations demonstration phase, exploring how aerial scouting and other functions could benefit future exploration of Mars and other worlds.


ExynDrone400x275Exyn Technologies, which develops autonomous aerial robot systems for complex, GPS-denied industrial environments, has announced it achieved the highest documented level of aerial autonomy. At Level 4A Autonomy, Exyn’s drones are capable of free-flight exploration of complex spaces, with the complete determination of flight path at 2+ meter/second flight speeds, and with higher data collection in larger volumes.