Flyability Raises 11 Million, Launches Flyability Labs to Make Autonomous Indoor Inspections a Reality
BY Zacc Dukowitz12 November 2018
Today Switzerland-based Flyability announced a successful Series B fundraising round that brought in eleven million dollars, bringing the total amount raised since the company’s launch in 2014 up to sixteen million.
In addition to announcing the results of their Series B fundraising round, Flyability announced the launch of Flyability Labs. The Labs will focus on developing technology that will pave the way for the future of indoor inspections, as well as other related technologies.
Flyability is best known for creating drones that can continue flying after a crash. Their Elios drone was designed for inspections in tight, potentially dangerous spaces, such as boiler rooms, where collisions may be unavoidable.
Photo credit: Flyability
The Elios is protected by a decoupled cage, which can absorb the impact from collisions without breaking or affecting the drone’s props. This innovative technology helps remove people from harm’s way by allowing them to conduct inspections without having to be physically present, which is one of the reasons Flyability was selected by UAV Coach as a top drone company to watch in 2018.
About the Series B Investment Round
The funds raised in Flyability’s Series B triples the total amount Flyability has raised since launching in 2014, and indicates a positive outlook from serious players about how the long-term viability of the company is viewed.
Historical investors ETF Partners, GoBeyond, and MKS (Switzerland) SA returned to invest again in the Series B. Notably, the Dow Chemical Company (U.S.) and Swisscom Ventures joined the Series B as first-time investors, further raising the profile of the companies investing in Flyability and the future of indoor inspections.
I see Flyability as the trailblazer in the digital transformation of visual inspections and non-destructive testing of large industrial installations and infrastructure.
-- Alexander Schläpfer, Partner at Swisscom Ventures
The capital Flyability raised will be used to fuel the growth of the company by increasing production and expanding its network of partners. Flyability currently has over 350 customers, with over 500 of their drones being used in the field.
Photo credit: Flyability
The money raised in the Series B will also be used to invest in technology to enable autonomous indoor inspections, which is one of the major projects of the newly announced Flyability Labs.
One of the primary focuses of Flyability Labs will be on creating fully autonomous indoor inspections.
As part of this endeavor, Flyability is currently partnered with several other organizations and labs to create an underground UAV inspection solution for the DARPA SubT Challenge. The SubT Challenge seeks novel approaches to rapidly map, navigate, and search underground environments during time-sensitive combat operations or disaster response scenarios.
Although the SubT Challenge has a special emphasis on defense and security scenarios, the technology developed to address those scenarios will certainly have applications in other, day-to-day situations, with industrial inspections on the top of the list.
As Flyability has already helped demonstrate, many industries have a need for conducting inspections in hard-to-reach areas. Conducting these inspections regularly, via automation, could potentially both lower costs and increase the likelihood of surfacing problem areas before they grow worse. By launching Flyability Labs, Flyability is making a clear pronouncement that they’ll be doing the R&D necessary to maintain their seat at the table to meet this need.
We intend to streamline the use of drones for predictive asset maintenance, enabling repeated and systematic inspections, easing data capture and localization, and ultimately letting inspector and surveyors focus on the insights while the rest happens automatically.
-Adrien Briod, Flyability CTO and Chairman of the Board
Other projects Flyability will be working on through their new Labs are the development of gas sensors for the Oil & Gas industries that will help detect the presence of specific gases, as well as radiation sensors for use in nuclear power plants.
What do you think about this latest news from Flyability? Chime in on this thread in the UAV Coach community forum to share your thoughts!