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Airobotics is officially the first certified company in the world to perform fully automated drone flights without a human pilot, following a new certification by the Israeli Civil Aviation Authority [CAAI],” according to the company. It has recently announced that it is the first company worldwide granted with the authorisation to fly fully automated drones without a pilot. This certification, that was presented by the CAAI, is, “solidifying Airobotics’ status as a world-leader in the field of automated drones, allowing for the most innovative Beyond Visual Line of Sight [BVLOS] commercial drone operations,” according to the company

This concept was designed and developed by Airobotics, solving some of the biggest problems for the drone market, such as high costs of labour, increased logistics around drone operations, expensive and lengthy training of aircrew as well as enabling customers that are not drone experts to perform highly complex drone missions.

For the past 24 months, Airobotics went through rigorous field testing and product verification process, inspected by CAAI, in order to prove the system’s safety case. After accumulating over 10,000 flight hours and automated flight cycles, producing dozens of technical manuals, engineering books, reports and analysis, Airobotics has passed all necessary tests and received the certification enabling the system to operate without a pilot as a safe, reliable drone solution.

The certification process started with an Alpha version in March 2015, progressed to a Beta version on August 2015, through to MVP (Minimum Viable Product) last year. The process demonstrated the system’s abilities, which were corrected along the way based on CAAI’s and Airobotics’ customers’ demands. These demands included adhering to safety standards, security procedures, emergency response, system reliability, and the capability to comply with flight and mission demands per Airobotics’ concept of operation. Examples of tests include environmental conditions, endurance and robustness testing. Throughout the process, Airobotics proved time and again to be at the highest level of field experience, while simultaneously adhering to regulation requirements.

The innovative certification process led by CAAI was based on the latest existing international standards for UAVs. This modern certification approach takes into consideration specific risk analysis and safety cases. Airobotics, together with the CAAI, is setting a new benchmark for the evaluations and approval of UAV operations for the rest of the world.

Airobotics’ drone system is operated in automated BVLOS mode without a certified UAV pilot at Airobotics’ first customer sites, Israel Chemicals (ICL) and Intel in Israel. Intel and ICL were instrumental as Airobotics’ first customers, and they continue to be pioneers by adopting a truly automated system, and by allowing CAAI and Airobotics to conduct series of tests.

Based on the experience Airobotics has gained in Israel, the company is scaling its operations to additional markets, starting with Australia and the USA.

Airobotics recently announced its first customer in Australia, the mining company South32. Airobotics was granted with a commercial license from CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) in Australia and with an FAA waiver authorisation under Part 107 in the US.

“In Israel, we are always pushing the boundaries of innovation,” Ran Krauss, CEO & Co-Founder of Airobotics, told MONS. “We are proud to be at the forefront of the commercial UAV area, together with CAAI, and be able to lead the way for drone companies and regulators throughout the world.” Airobotics has completed a long cycle, which started in 2013. This newly granted certification is our next generation milestone that completely takes the human drone pilot out of the equation in BVLOS operations. We predict this certification milestone will revolutionize the global market landscape, and pave the way for future applications of automated drones.”

 

AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2017 is showcasing the future of innovation across unmanned systems and robotics and www.monch.com brings together key developments from the show. For more information please see MILITARY TECHNOLOGY #5/2017, available at the show; and frequently check back for more NEWS FROM THE FLOOR.

 

The Airobotics’ automatic platform is comprised of three parts: OPTIMUS, a large, high capacity drone capable of flying 30-minute missions while carrying a one-kilogram mission specific payload; an “Airbase,” a completely automated base station from which the OPTIMUS drone launches and lands on its own, without any human intervention; and “Software,” an integrated, dynamic software that enables users to control and manage missions with one click.

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