Looks like this is the week of big UAV announcements with the launch of the Airware platform for commercial drone use.



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Comment by Daniel Lukonis on April 16, 2015 at 6:20pm

Has anyone seen pricing?

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on April 16, 2015 at 9:15pm

It's not sold, but rather offered as part of a $2,500 annual service contract

Comment by Euan Ramsay on April 16, 2015 at 10:28pm

An interesting article.  It appears the big value adds these days are not in the hardware,  but in the software. 

If they offer widgets prebuilt for specific missions,  with integration of decent sensors,  connectivity and cloud-based analytics they will be one to watch. 

Comment by Daniel Lukonis on April 17, 2015 at 7:06am

Perfect, Thanks Chris.

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on April 17, 2015 at 9:38am

I notice in the specs, it seems there is only a single IMU (Accels and Gyro) is that correct?

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on April 17, 2015 at 9:45am

Also, I'm curious about the business case for this system.  There is of course marketing language on the website about safety and reliability.  But without anybody being able to inspect the code, that can't be independently verified.  Given that this is offered on a leasing basis, is Airware offering any sort of reliability guarantee and if so would that cover airframe loss in the event of a code deficiency?  Is full data logging available to end users, so they could make their case in this regard if desired? Is there any sort of MTBF data on the hardware?

If an airframe manufacturer chooses this system, will they essentially be asking their own customers to sign up to the $2500/year Airware lease?

The marketing material is selling the sizzle for sure.  But I'm curious what the actual steak is like.

Comment by Dwgsparky on April 17, 2015 at 10:09am

Nicely put Rob, totally agree.

Comment by Cliff-E on April 17, 2015 at 10:55am

@Rob: Code inspection can be certified by a 3rd party, aka FAA DER (FAA 14 CFR 183.29). Also why the photo has labels: FC1 and FC2 (?)... 2 FC inputs?.  Specs would be nice, but this day an age, everyone is becoming more 'mum' on specs & h/w details--due to the "RTF/turnkey" trend in the industry (and going up against the defense-aerospace companies with their highly proprietary FPGA solutions).

Their unit sure has the Kestral look:

At 2500/yr. Say I run roller coaster inspection ;), we're finding the use in SoCal to be around 1/3 of the year (e.g. winds under 10mph), so that's 125 days of use... or about $20 per flight. Then again, how they are handling legal, risk, indemnification, property, ops and safety are all questions, hopefully more details in the coming months.

Also, now that they got a chunk of funds from Intel and 3DR from Qualcomm... am I seeing a new generation of flight controllers coming?


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