FlytBase today announced its Drone-API as a Service offering, that allows developers to easily connect their drones with variety of business applications in the cloud. More from sUASNews story:
FlytBase, Inc., a startup building developer platforms for connected intelligent drones, today announced the release of industry’s first Drone-API as a Service offering. While most modern businesses run on cloud-based applications, connecting drones to the cloud has been quite challenging. FlytBase plans to change that with their FlytBase Cloud platform.
Over last few years, IoT (Internet of Things) industry has designed communication protocols to help “things” connect to the internet. However, requirements for drones are very different from regular “things”. Typical IoT devices are deployed in very large numbers, consume low-power, and send small amounts of data spread over long durations of time. Drones, on the other hand, are deployed in smaller fleets, have large lithium-based batteries, and send large amount of data over short period of time. Drone applications need real-time navigation, telemetry and payload access over a high-bandwidth secure link. Further, drones are often intelligent devices, taking several critical decisions onboard, unlike most IoT devices which rely on cloud for their intelligence. To meet these specific drone requirements, FlytBase has designed a custom protocol, from the ground-up. FlytBase Cloud makes use of this protocol to efficiently connect drones to your cloud-based business applications in real time.
Drones are today being successfully used in a number of industry verticals, such as, agriculture, construction, surveys and inspections. However, most of the applications are restricted to a single operator on the field, and do not directly communicate with the cloud. Several cloud-based drone applications, such as, DroneDeploy, Propeller and Redbird need the data from the drones to be downloaded manually, after the flight. This data is then required to be uploaded to their cloud servers for post processing. With FlytBase Cloud, such applications can be completely automated.
A few vertically integrated solutions, such as those offered by Airware, Precision Hawk, Kespry do offer higher levels of integration and connectivity. However, these are not open for developers to customise and build their own integrations with business apps. For example, if one had to build a drone that is connected over cloud and follows voice commands from Alexa, it would take several days to put it together. With FlytBase Cloud, it can be done in minutes. With FlytBase Cloud, developers can easily build applications like, automating fleet of drones to scan the warehouse and update the inventory in Salesforce every week, with no manual intervention. “We are moving towards an era of Internet of Drones (IoD). FlytBase is excited to offer industry’s first platform to help developers quickly build and deploy customised IoD solutions”, says Founder and CEO of FlytBase, Nitin Gupta.
FlytBase has partnered with Built.io to provide ready integration of drones with hundreds of business apps, such as, Salesforce, Box, Slack, Twilio, Cisco Spark, Zendesk, Dropbox, Nest, YouTube. This allows users to easily build automated workflows, that leverage drones as part of the solution, without writing any code.
With little standardisation in drone hardware and communication protocols, it has been extremely challenging for developers to work with hardware from different manufacturers. The software applications designed for drones from one manufacturer, do not work with others. Dhiraj Dhule, Director of Strategic Projects at FlytBase, summarises the efforts of FlytBase to address this challenge, “FlytBase has been working on building adapters to support a large number of drone manufacturers, and offers an unified set of APIs for developers. This isolates the application developers from the underlying drone hardware, and makes their applications portable across drones”. FlytBase Cloud is built to support these APIs, and is, thus, compatible with all major drone platforms available today.
FlytBase also provides a cloud-based drone simulator, FlytSim, for developers to completely test their applications in simulation, before deploying them on real hardware. “There are a large number of software developers with no prior background in drones. FlytSim helps them build and test their drone applications much faster, cheaper and without any of the risks associated with direct implementation on hardware”, says Sharvashish Das, Director of Engineering at FlytBase.
Internet connectivity is the next frontier for drone technology. With easy access to 4G/LTE networks across the world, Internet of Drones (IoD) is expected to unleash a new wave of innovation and drive further growth in this sector. FlytBase Cloud lowers the entry barrier and provides ready tools for developers to leverage this technology for building innovative products and for offering new services. Besides applications that have already found wide adoption, such as, surveys and inspections, applications that need live connectivity with a large number of drones, such as, use of drones for logistics and smart-cities, would greatly benefit from this technology.
To learn more about the FlytBase Cloud, visit, https://flytbase.com/cloud or write to firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a call with FlytBase Drone Applications Expert, today.
FlytBase is a startup based out of Palo Alto, Silicon Valley, building developer tools for connected intelligent drones. Its flagship product, FlytOS, is the world’s first drone operating system that works across the widest range of hardware options, including, those from Intel, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Raspberry Pi and Samsung. FlytBase also offers, FlytSim, a simulator for drone applications, and Drone Software Development Kits for web and mobile platforms. Developers are using FlytBase tools to build drones for various commercial applications, such as, automated agricultural surveys, logistics, industrial inspections and emergency response. FlytBase recently received the TiE50 award at TiEcon Silicon Valley, and was a part of Cisco Launchpad accelerator program.
To learn more about FlytBase Cloud, please visit: https://flytbase.com/cloud
@Marc: FlytBase Cloud offers Drone-API as a Service (like a SaaS product). For a nominal subscription fee, developers/users are able to connect drones to the cloud (and to business applications). We are adding many more capabilities to this Internet of Drones (IoD) platform, for easy and fast integration of drones with business apps.
For example, you can directly integrate a Netsuite application with a drone, to scan the warehouse and update your inventory, on demand; or, to manage a fleet of your delivery drones, which are integrated with your ERP.
Is your eventual biz model to host cloud solutions? Or is there a license fee to deploy apps with Flytos? (My day job is a Netsuite developer)
@Nikola-- I hear you on that and understand your point of view but honestly it does not trouble me much and I have to dismiss warnings a lot when I use my P4P. These are now mass-consumer devices and consumers are mostly uneducated. But I am someone that would like guns unlocked with palm print recognition! As a 'cloud' developer myself I guess I long since reconciled myself to being tethered to the cloud.
@Nikola: 4G/LTE connectivity is improving rapidly, worldwide. The protocol allows very efficient use of bandwidth, and real-time connectivity. BTW, these systems are fully autonomous (not remotely piloted). So, internet is used only to update the flight plan and to send back telemetry data. In case of loss of communication, the system will continue to operate and land, as per the last received plan (and failsafe settings). We have been testing the system over last 3 months, across carriers and geographies, and have found it to be quite reliable.
@Marc: We started off from India, but moved to Silicon Valley earlier this year (we still have team in India). If you need a power module for your Odroid XU4, please send me a message with your contact details at email@example.com. I should be able to arrange something for you.
Great what you are doing.
Rapuyta Robotics is also doing something similar.
"FlytBase is a startup based out of Palo Alto, Silicon Valley"
And cloud computing by definition requires internet access. I'm just concerned about the trend. Right now, DJI will bork your machine if it thinks you're flying where you shouldn't be even if you have all the legal rights and permissions to do so. Sure, you can temporarily "deactivate" this but I don't like the fact that DJI is involved in the decisions and who knows what data they're really keeping track of.
If you to took the time to check it out you would see that this is basically an API that can run on a linux box that can control a FC. It does not necessarily have to be part of the Internet of Things or Cloud-Connected while flying.
I have been meaning for ages to slap a dusty Odroid XU4 on a dusty Steadidrone and try this....just need to get the 7A Ubec that can power that Odroid
Why does everyone in Silicon Valley assume that everyone has internet access wherever they are?