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  • Oh, and it has pretty round feet.

  • I have a R&D engineer in the family. I had a rant about a commercial drone product used in the land survey industry. My argument was that looking at guidance systems like ardupilot and the airframes available from various hobby suppliers, the prices were not only hight, but crazy. I used some expressive language with crazy. My very learnered family member sat me down and explained:

    1. The R&D costs involved in developing a platform like this - assuming they do it from scratch.

    2. Prototyping - seems like fun, but adds to the bottom line.

    3. ROI - they who givith wanteth backeth with a bit- in my opinion this is the big one.

    4. The deployment environment of a product like this will require high end sensors and processing power with telemetry to, not only the person deploying it, but the control center as well, wich might include a gsm/sat linkup. This might even be working in a network system with multiple drones syncing and feeding telemetry.

    All good points.

    I live and work in an production environment where "time is money" and having the right tools for the task gives an time advantage in the market place. Jobs done quicker. Better data available - better decisions and evntually a happy/ecstattic customer.

    With this philosephy I do not hesitate to invest more money in the superior tool at a 0.5 time factor to product than the inferior tool.

    Looking at what police would use this for and me being the customer. A few thoughts - I would prefer them having the better drone to get the guy who just stole my laptop or or or. Being able to stay in the air 3 minutes longer than the other options that costed 30% less, and get the job done.

    The key to this would be evaluating the options, getting to the value/cost factor and then decide. I would like to see the value criteria on this decision.

    Go ahead, spend the money, get the economy going.


  • Because they can.   The free market fixes everything :)  

  • a lot of profit.!

  • Bernard is right, not to mention sophisticated radio equipment. A large part of the cost would be for software development, configuration, testing and support.The quality and accuracy requirements for software development required for a commercial project are quite different to what is possible through an amateur community.

    As we know we have a huge number of developers, I think Chris said 50 developers in this community. That's 50 people working on various elements producing a number of variations such as Quad, Plane, Board etc. Some elements are common/shared but that brings additional complexities.

    So let's say, for the sake of argument, that 20 people have worked on the apm quad code. The apm code includes many great features but is produced/tested and released in a way that is very different to how commercial software must be managed. 

    This seems to indicate (guess) that to produce a quad to a standard that could be used by the police would need a team of at least 30 people. Then there is the cost of management, commercial advertising, insurance, sales teams, office premises.

    Any business that requires an infrastructure like that will cost millions p.a. to run. From what I understand, 3DR clears in excess of $500,000 dollars a month in profit which is needed and invested back into the company to assist with expansion and product design. Yet 3DR has also recently attracted a $5m dollar investment.

    If Kevin is right this company has sunk a huge investment into this project and will not see a return for quite some time.

  • Those pictures with the American Flag; that probably helps drive the price up.  

  • A lot of these commercial systems are priced at this level. I attended AUVSI this past August and a lot of these companies are selling similar products at similar price points. What local Law Enforcement agencies have the $40k-$60k for that? 

  • Training, service, and support.

    In my experience, government sector (and some corporate) customers expect a level of service that is mind-boggling to DIYers like ourselves. Basically, they expect to sign a paper and then never have to pay another un-budgeted penny or even think about your product ever again. It is very likely that the vendor will have to hire another (possibly local) full-time tech to service each account. At $40-60k they might lose money on a high-maintenance customer.

    Of course, I don't have any experience with selling drones, the companies I've worked for make other kinds of electronics, but I would guess the principle is universal.

  • well, you may fit it with all top equipmment (I don't know where will you fit it however), but for the looks of it, the only plausible explanation will be "government contract" !!!! This happens in all countrys more or less, let me tell you how : You know the guy or a guy who knows the guy that can approve this, you pay him lunch in a cool restaurant, maybe with some escort girls, you offer him, around 5 or 10% of your proffit and there you go. I'm not saying this is what is happening here, but it does happen in a lot of well known sittuations.

  • Incorrect press??? Who's ever heard of such a thing!?  Lol.

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