It's been two years since we started with the HYBRiX development!!! Since some months ago we feel that development is finishing and that HYBRiX20 meets almost all the specifications that we said at the beginning.
There are a lot of challenges left to face but right now we have the feeling that HYBRiX20 is ready to do important things.
The problem i see is than this hybrid aircraft is currently doing flights very far from the potential.
We try to do flight hours but we are very small company and our ability are very limited and it is unrealistic that we spend hundreds or thousands of hours to simulate possible applications.
On the other hand our first customers usually are doing R&D projects or demos to their customes and in any case, they fly very few hours.
I see a big risk if we stall here. That is why I would like to find a few initial customers that have applications that perfectly fit the specifications of the hybrid and that need to do heavy work, I mean that they have to fly many hours a day for example.
--- What would be a good application to make hundreds or thousands hours to HYBRiX?
I would like to hear what applications you suggest for this platform!!!
As some of you already know we can fly between 2 and 3 hours according to the payload with a total of 5 liters of fuel.
Jose Luis Cortes
About drone markets, I believe there is no future for selling hardware anymore for small businesses. Because of multiple reasons:
-It is already too late ! the spot has been taken by giant corporations with, relatively to small businesses, unlilmited capital and engineering ressources. Like DJI and a few others in more specialized applications. Even a company like 3DR which raised tens of millions of dollars could not compete in the end on drone hardware. When you look for example at the last DJI ship that just came out on the market and meant for industrial applications, it is unbeatable in terms of functionality, quality, price. You'd have a very hard time to build an equivalent fuinctionality and it would not even look as well finished and productized.
-Added value is not anymore in assembled/integrated UAV hardware. Drone hardware can now be found for very little money even for professional uses. And prices still continue to go down further with better functionality and quality ( see for example how today a 1000 dollars DJI Mavic pro does better video/pictures than a 10 000 dollars ship from three years ago).
-Added value is to be found in producing actionable data that is specific to the job of your customers. A farmer will want certain data, a mining industry will want some other type of data, etc.
So in other words, customers will not buy your value proposition because it flies for hours, but rather they will buy your proposition because you'll provide them with a solution to a problem they have, that is specific for their job and that they cannot solve otherwise easily. People buy a solution, they do not buy technology for itself (except a few geeks like us).
Sorry to sound pessimistic maybe but I believe, that is the reality of the market(s). So as a conclusion, try to find a job annoyance/issue/problem you could solve based on the use of your hybrid drone, in such a way that you bring a total solution to the customer (and don't expect him to learn or pilot your hybrid drone).
For extended endurance applications, a big component will be the TBO (Time Between Overhaul) of the internal combustion engine. I work with sUAS in conservation applications, and I think this product could potentially bridge significant performance requirements between traditional multi-rotor and fixed wing systems. These generally involve survey or real-time video over extended areas, from undeveloped sites (i.e. unsuitable for fixed wing takeoffs/landings).
A particular application with market potential would be as a quick response surveillance tool for poaching in Africa. This requires a system that can handle harsh environmental conditions, operate at night and BVOS, is capable of carrying a thermal imager payload (1-2kg), and can work for extended periods of time in remote locations. The end goal isn't necessarily to prevent a poaching incident from happening, it's to catch the poachers before they get away, and to increase safety for rangers via actionable intelligence.
Currently, this role is filled by traditional helicopters with an initial outlay of ~$250,000 for an R44 to multiple millions in USD for something like an MD-530, and an operating cost of ~$190 to ~$1,000 USD per hour. sUAS have struggled to enter this space because the proven commercial systems cost too much (most are comparable equipment outlay to an R44), have low TBOs (<500 hours), and require specialist skills to maintain and operate. Regulations have also played a factor. Wildlife security is logically a conservative industry, so for sUAS to become an attractive option, they need to be significantly cheaper, and be able to objectively demonstrate their performance and reliability.
It supports Analog, HDMI, and Mobile Broadband streaming as well.
Customers in search and rescue or inspection are not just looking for endurance. They need the whole package with camera with zoom control, proper gimbal, pilot cam, search cam, drop cam, etc etc. Not many operators know how to put all this together and make it work smoothly. The easier you make it for a customer to buy and deploy, the easier the sell and bigger the market.
Thank you for your words, It is not that we was struggling to find customers but there are customers who want to do things for which the hybrid is not prepared.
if we do a few thousand flight hours then the HYBRiX would be ready for some of these customers. For that reason I am looking for safe scenario applications.
We are not thinking in a early adopter program but it seems good idea. The idea of publishing experiences with customers can be very interesting, we have some customers planning to do very cool things!
Anyway we need to think how we can do something like that because our company do not have funding and build HYBRiX are expensive. Perhaps is time to search some money.
Yes, the website is obsolete. We are working on it.
We are in the same situation，We also strugling to find customers now.
I believe that we will have good future, and so I think you and your company will.
Just hold on to the last.
Your product looks ideal for the markets you have chosen (search and rescue, etc) in terms of endurance.
We would be interested to partner with you. We have just developed the first Commercial grade Remote Cockpit for the Arducopter/ PX4 platforms and your product looks promising for us.
Please have a look at www.tengriuav.com and get in touch if your interested.
You should also consider an X8 configuration for markets such as Search & Rescue
as a quad configuration may lack the redundancy and reliability for these markets.
Have you or are you also considering a beta/early adopter program? Example: Beta Program where participants each receive the platform and training. participants agree to the Beta rules and Testing/Operations scenarios, that is they are required to perform X number of operations per month and Video record that as well as report findings and flight logs back so engineering can provide enhancements and your company can utilize the program for advertising. You could do an open Beta or Closed Beta, Open is public and closed is for select markets. For closed beat with the flight times you have, I could see the agricultural, USGS, Emergency Responders (Forestry), FEMA, Oil and Gas Industry fields being a great match, of course there are others as well.
In this program, you could market the benefits to the participants, such as: Keep the product, free OEM training +Cert…. and you get customers, marketing, critical feedback.
The HYBRiX is a nice-looking platform, like the specs and certainly the duration. I would recommend providing more info on your site, such as payload types today (camera type, Lidar..), planned payloads, compatible GCS platforms (Tablet, PC?). the more information the better
I love your HYBRiX and I am surprised that you struggling to find applications and customers. I would have thought that costumers standing in line, since the flight time the manufactures provide are usually very optimistic with no margin. I talked to a few drone operators and they would be happy to have a bit more flight time when they put there heavy cameras on. I guess that is also the problem, at the moment the focus is on nice videos and pictures, but it is changing. In my opinion you are on the forefront, so keep pushing. I am trying to be there too and realized that the word drone is way to much preoccupied.
I agree with you that the agricultural field might be the best. Especially universities who do research in that field might be early adopters.