April 21, 2015
Drone startup Airware has launched a commercial drone operating system with plans to make unmanned aerial vehicles easier to use. Interested businesses would pay a monthly subscription to license Airware’s Flight Core autopilot technology, Ground Control Station, and cloud platform. The system of hardware, software, and cloud computing allows businesses to customize drone missions for their own needs, whether it involves surveying farm land or inspecting cell towers.
Airware’s operating system is designed to reduce the drone piloting expertise needed for enterprises to start using drone technology. Instead of manually piloting a drone, operators could simply draw a flight path on a map. Data from the flight is sent automatically back to the cloud, so that drone operators can use the data to create similar missions.
All of the system’s parts, from hardware to software, work together to eliminate barriers to entry. The Flight Core is the brain of every individual drone that carries out orders from the Ground Control Station. Only one person is needed to control a fleet of drones from the Ground Control Station, which can be accessed on any Windows laptop or tablet.
The cloud platform is for higher management to manage various types of missions and ensure that all missions comply with flight regulations.
As drones become more popular, this operating system could become very valuable. “It’s the way drones improve efficiency for heavy industry that could be the enduring money-maker. Whatever companies make the software that runs these drones could make serious profits for years to come,” reports TechCrunch.
Airware already has the support of some of the most prominent investors in Silicon Valley, including Andreessen Horowitz, Kleiner Perkins, GE and Google Ventures.
Drones can do the jobs that are too dangerous and too expensive for humans to do, like checking on gas pipelines or even ocean lifeguarding. A future drone might be able to identify distressed people in the water at the beach and deliver a floatation device to the person. Airware also demonstrated a new fixed-wing drone that can cover regions of 1,000 square miles, compared to the 100 acres that a quadcopter can fly.