On the 5th of July, I had the chance to meet the H Robotics team at their office in central London. This opportunity came about after a coincidental encounter with Regina Oladipo during our team’s participation at Queen Mary University’s 3 Day Startup Programme, where Regina advised us on our business case and kindly connected us with H Robotics.
Fast forward a couple of weeks, just after our participation at the Institution of Mechanical Engineer’s UAS Challenge, I had the pleasure of meeting Dr Pippa Malmgren, Former Advisor to the White House, top economist, author and Co-Founder of H Robotics to find out more about what makes their HiSight SUAV model a true leader in this industry.
We’ve all heard of drones and what they’re capable of doing. Predominantly, we see professional photographers and videographers use them to increase their work’s creative value. If you watch content creators on YouTube, perhaps you may have even seen them taking aerial videos of their adventures and breath-taking landscapes. However, behind the scenes, a lesser known brand has already been leaving a significant global influence on the drone industry- H Robotics.
H Robotics describes their HiSight Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (SUAV) model as a “tool not a toy” designed for industrial purposes with applications such as mining, oil & gas and public safety to name a few. But what makes HiSight so special? It sounds too good to be true but the reason for its success is straightforward. The commercial drones we see advertised on all media platforms are typically fragile. The makers were aiming at a retail audience and not too concerned if customers "buy and break" their drones. Their business models benefit from new sales and constant upgrades. Their high price points are also due to marketing costs incurred by the drone companies themselves. On the other hand, H Robotics offers a product that is incredibly hard to break. Others try to make drones that fly super fast like Ferraris. But this one goes 100mph but is more like a Land Rover. It has a simple, robust yet versatile design of an aerial platform that allows it to take on different configurations (eg. sniffer, surveyor, monitor, land manager etc.) without compromising its performance and capabilities. Surely adding on different features to the drone must be inconvenient?- not this one. Simply snap on your configuration of choice onto the platform and you’re ready to go! Not only that, the HiSight's rugged design allowed it’s HiSight platforms to withstand gunfire. It took 700 shot gun shells fired at them one afternoon before only two were eventually brought down. It can also withstand extreme weather conditions such as driving rain, heavy winds, desert heat and freezing cold temperatures. Many drones will not even turn on if it’s too cold.
Long before the GDPR regulations came into place, there has already been concerns on how a company uses your data. Many companies co-mingle the data from the cameras with the autopilot. That means data can leak when autopilot upgrades are occurring. HiSight separate the two things so that proprietary data and analytics are secure and belong only to the customer. Their Flightcloud, allows clients to access their data and analytics at any time from anywhere, even on smart devices. Your data is even analysed for you in the simplest way possible; after a few points and clicks, your analysis is ready for use in a few hours. HiSight can be flown without the need for an external pilot that usually costs thousands of pounds per day. Thanks to H Robotics, it is now possible for companies to have their most junior employee with zero flight experience operating the drone.
Despite the numerous innovations that H Robotics offers, HiSight still stands as the most economical model amongst its competitors. H Robotics works with a B2B business model and the firm has already secured partnerships with blue-chip companies that will propel drones towards a future beyond recreational purposes. Furthermore, H Robotics’ incredible success so far means that they are going into their Series A round (first round of venture capital financing) with zero debt- a rarity for technology startups.
We look forward to the undeniably bright future of H Robotics and will keep a close eye on their future developments. For more information, please visit hrobotics.co.uk .
- Trisha Mason
BA French with Business Management Graduate and Business Development Manager for Polaris in IMechE's International UAS Challenge