ArcticStartup was the first media to have a look at commercial drone of French startup Uavia.
With Europe increasingly worried over its eastern border – with refugees coming to northern Finland in temperatures they have seen in life and with Estonia seeing its officer kidnapped last year from across the border – technical solutions to help protecting the border, which is often barely a line on the ground, are increasingly interesting.
We sat down with small French startup Uavia – which has already made a lot of headlines with its military-grade drones which would be available also for consumers – at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last week and were the first media to see what will the commercial drone of Uavia look like.
What makes this team unique among dozens of other drone makers is the fact that in March last year they became the first company to fly its 4G drone from another continent. The drone was flying in Paris, but it was controlled through the app from San Francisco.
When building amateur-drones is barely a rocket science Uavia faces two massive challenges offering its autonomous drones to border guards and industrial usage – namely reliability of the connection and power.
“The operators are not guaranteeing a 4G service,” says chef executive Clement Christomanos.
And even if they did the solution would likely not be secure enough for state services so Uavia has teamed up with Air-Lynx with who it was also demonstrating its product at MWC. The company creates private 4G network which comes with connection guarantee.
Power is rarely a problem at industrial sites, but it is an issue if one needs drones for surveillance of border in remote areas. For that the team is finishing charging stations which will use solar energy and fuel cells to power the drones.
Christomanos said the company has a small production line ready in Bretagne, which can make more than 100 drones a year, but it is currently raising additional funding for a significant boost in production capacity. Uavia will start commercial shipments in mid-2016.