Airobotics wins major tech award but closes Australian offices

18 September 2019

We have highlighted Airobotics a number of times here on ForestTECH. Airobotics is a world-leading UAV company producing autonomous drones for industry application. They made history earlier this year when they obtained Australia’s first Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) approval to operate automated multi-rotor drones from its Remote Operations Center (ROC) beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS).

Airobotics has also recently been named by the World Economic Forum as a one of the world’s ‘Technology Pioneers of 2019‘. This precious award recognises innovative start-ups across a number of technology fields, including artificial intelligence, driverless vehicles and quantum computing.

In Australia, they were initially focused on the mining industry and trials had been successful. Other sectors of interest for the company were refineries, seaports and fabrication facilities.

Under the right use-case, these autonomous UAVs would also be a great fit for the forestry and wood products sector here in Australia and New Zealand. The ability to automate the operation and maintenance of UAVs from a portable and self-contained launching base sets it apart from the many UAVs the forestry sector is already operating.

In February 2019, Airobotics announced they were laying off employees in both Israel and Australia to refocus their activities on opportunities within the US. The Australian office will close in September and all operations will come out of their US headquarters.

While it is not the end for Airobotics, it seems that we won’t be seeing their technology operate within our sector anytime soon. However, forestry has many UAV operators and it will be exciting to see how this technology continues to evolve.

See our previous coverage: