Aerolion are an exciting drone spinoff from the National University of Singapore. They have developed drones to meet industry standards in Singapore for industrial inspections. They have already encountered a strong demand for their product to inspect power lines, and have also recently won their first customer on China too.
The drones can be outfitted with either a DSLR camera, or an infrared function to deal with different types of inspections. Securing the contract in China presented it’s own logitical challenges as Aerolion were required to deliver 23 sets of drones to various provinces, all with different temperature and air pressure ranges. This helps to illustrate the challenges faced in becoming a drone supplier to multiple clients.
With this in mind Fei explained the business model is to train their clients in the correct and safe usage of the drones. Initially “we send out our people, but we need the manpower, and we need to train our distributors . It’s definitely the case that we need more man power!”
Wang explained that the company was founded in November 2014. They now have eight full time staff, and are currently recruiting for more. They will be exhibiting at Innovfest, in two areas, one to showcase the company, and one to demonstrate their concepts. “We are looking for investors, and also contracts, we have things set up, and looking to expand, and we need to start expanding soon. We are initially focussing on South East Asia, and China, and then we will look to Europe and the US”.
Wang explained why they have a strong selling point. “As a UAV company, we have some unique technologies including GPS-less navigation. In some area there is no with reliable GPS, but we have built drones that are still able to navigate. Using laser scanning to do the navigation. The tech is more mature now, and we want to create useful products, which will be resistant to environmental challenges.”
Wang then went on to explain a little about the innovation culture in Singapore.“We are supported in Singapore by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore’s accreditation programme. This has helped in showcasing our product to local government buyers. There is a lot of support and feedback, which helped us in rolling out our business and marketing more effectively.“
We then asked Wang about where he hoped to take the technology in the future.
We are going to focus on our unique tech, not just for drones, but for wider things
1 – to modularise our GPS tech, this could be useful for other things too,
2 – to do a solution for industry partners, so we can do a whole system
Our Blacklion 168, has 1 hour air time, achieved by a combination of design, motors, propellors, controllor, and by assessing what works together efficiently. They all need to be syncronised, and then also the design of the platform.
The drone weighs 8kgs, plus the weight of the different cameras used.
It is definitely interesting to see what is being developed on the other side of the world and illustrates that this will be a fast moving industry with great potential rewards for those that can deliver the most reliable and effectively performing devices.