Energy and Drone & Robotics Summit – Wed 6/12 thru Thurs 6/13 The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center (Booth 314)
Digital Aerolus, the leader in inspection drones for GPS-denied environments, demonstrates the latest innovations of its Aertos™ UAV products at the Energy and Drone & Robotics Summit in The Woodlands, Texas, on June 12-13. The industry-awakening capability of Aertos™ drones to navigate stably and predictably indoors and out – without GPS satellite signals, ultrasound, LIDAR, or optical flow – appeals to a broad spectrum of customers including sectors in energy, mining, public safety, transportation and more.
Energy facilities are complex mixes of developing technologies and infrastructure, and organizations across the industry are using UAVs to provide the information and data teams need to maintain energy facilities and optimize their operation.
Digital Aerolus drones complete missions in areas dense with interfering signals and in locations where other drone cannot communicate with GPS satellites. Rugged designs and the ability to navigate stably and predictably in GPS-denied environments make Aertos™ drones indispensable tools for teams tasked with missions like collecting photometric data in hard-to-reach places.
Aertos™ drones serve energy industries in applications like these:
Inspecting hydroelectric plants and towers
Assessing indoor facilities for steam leaks and pipe breaks
Surveying dams, causeways, and spillways
Maintaining stacks and chimneys
In these applications and more, Aertos™ drones deliver valuable information, predictable flights, and cost savings.
DA’s unique Folded Geometry flight Code (FGC™) and our Mind of Motion Framework™ promise to revolutionize how vehicles from UAVs to submarines, cars, and planes understand and navigate complicated environments without satellite signals.
The DA team had a spectacular Closing Day at Xponential today.
[By the way: that’s the Bell Nexus eVTOL air taxi in the photo above. The Nexus air car design features Bernoulli ducted fan propulsion similar to the technology in DA’s Aertos™ UAVs. Cool, huh?]
Trade Show Thursdays are often low traffic: most attendees with Visitor Badges take advantage of the energy of Tuesday and Wednesday to walk the aisles & explore the booths, experience the Exhibitor demos, collect product information brochures and bags of swag, and shake hands on new friendships. Then, on Thursday, many manufacturers and exhibitors get their own chance to walk the aisles with fewer visitors around, & to stop by booths to ask serious questions and maybe even forge a deal or two.
Thursday traffic in the Xponential trade show aisles seemed kind of light — except at the DA booth which attracted lots of attention…
The Digital Aerolus booth was over-the-top busy with traffic today. Many of our competitors’ displays seemed to be a little quiet, but we saw a steady flow of interested people that wanted to make sure that the startling capabilities of Aertos™ drones to navigate in challenging indoor spaces that defeat our competitors fit into their plans.
DA Aeronautics Engineer Nash Reimer said: “Lots of cool stuff happened today. Just as an example, we had at least one offer for an immediate deal, and we found a supplier that will help us make sure our customers have the best possible experience when we deliver a packaged inspection drone system and they unpack or transport it. We want to do everything we can to make sure we treat our customers with exceptional care.”
We packed the display booth back into the vans in record time so we could get on the road back to Kansas ASAP. The flight team demonstrates the Aertos™ drones tomorrow for a major law enforcement entity – and we also have another promising flight demo with a power company.
Xponential 2019 in Chicago was fantastic. See you next time!
Not many visitors to some of the Xponential Expo booths – – but lots of visitors crowded around the Digital Aerolus booth wanting to know more about Aertos™ drones.
Today’s Xponential drone Expo experience was literally off the hook as well as over the proverbial top.
Trade shows often deliver landslides of information that are more than most minds can manage. We spent the day meeting with customers and friends, researching sensors and technologies, setting up new flight demos and proposals – – and trying to keep all our contacts and promises straight. Several new customers couldn’t have been more eager to see the Aertos™ drones in action in their use case in the field.
A common question was “How does your hardware do what we are watching it do?” While we prefer to protect the deepest levels of explanation about our proprietary methods and keep that layer to ourselves, it’s always challenging fun to sense what a potential customer wants, figure out what specific use case he wants to solve, and propose real Aertos-based UAV solutions that don’t require GPS or a complex suite of supporting sensors like optical flow or LiDAR.
It’s still raining in Chicago — we haven”t seen the sun all week. It’s kind of ironic that although we’re at a drone show there’s not a UAV in the air within miles – – because the weather’s poor. Stay tuned for more!
Digital Aerolus CEO Jeff Alholm and Master Pilot Jenna Squires explain the multi-dimensional algebra of DA’s Mind of Motion framework to a potential client at the UAVSA Xponential drone Expo in Chicago.
The DA team’s at the Xponential Expo in Chicago – exhibiting and demonstrating our GPS-denied indoor drone technology to attendees and customers at the show.
Day 1 was an avalanche of Busy, with many fruitful conversations, requests to set up flight demos, and even an invite to a field location in Chicago where we’ll conduct a private demonstration today for a client who seemes to understand the capabilities of the Aertos drone and its promise to transform how the world sees indoor drone flight.
The Aertos booth gathering interest from show attendees who want to know more about DS’s indoor no-GPS flight technology
DA Project Coordinator Jay Manifold said: “Shows like this one are an opportunity to identify new markets and make new friends. As examples, we spoke at length to research & development labs and cinematographers interested in our stable drones for moviemaking. And, of course, we saw the expected high interest in our warehousing, mining, and energy sector markets.”
We’re in rainy Chicago through Thursday afternoon. Stay tuned for more!!
Here’s the Bell Nexus air taxi – which deploys ducted Bernoulli fan technology similar to the DA Aertos drones. Great minds, etc. etc.
The DA team is in final prep mode this weekend – so we can embark to Chicago for next week’s AUVSI Xponential Expo trade show at McCormick Place Convention Hall.
We’ll be demonstrating new features and capabilities of the Aertos 120™ inspection drone, and hopefully converging with many of our colleagues and potential customers in the UAV industry who are clamoring to learn more about the our unique indoor drone navigation technology. So, watch this space for regular reports from the team, and for photos of our booth space and indoor Fly Zone net.
It’s 2019 – and it promises to be an eventful year for Digital Aerolus! Thanks to our latest News blog readers for your interest in our technology. Drop by and see us in Booth 2803!
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AUVSI Xponential 2019 – Tue 4/30 thru Thurs 5/2 Booth 2803 – McCormick Place in Chicago
Digital Aerolus, the leader in inspection drones for GPS-denied environments, will demonstrate the latest innovations of its Aertos™ AUV products at the AUVSI Xponential Expo. The industry-awakening capability of Aertos™ drones to navigate stably and predictably indoors and out – without GPS satellite signals, ultrasound, LIDAR, or optical flow – appeals to a broad spectrum of customers including sectors in energy, mining, public safety, transportation and more.
Aertos™ drones deploy protected blades, Bernoulli ducted fan designs, and the company’s proprietary Folded Geometry flight Code™. Jeff Alholm, President and CEO, notes that “many applications for drones include a requirement to fly missions under bridges, around or inside buildings, underground, and in other spaces where GPS signals are weak or non-existent. Our customers want rugged inspection drones that navigate stably and predictably. Delivering this capability is opening significant doors for Digital Aerolus across a variety of industries.”
The company’s Mind of Motion Framework™ and other Digital Aerolus technologies promise to revolutionize how vehicles from UAVs to submarines, cars, and planes understand and navigate complicated environments without satellite signals.
Look for the Digital Aerolus team at Booth 2803 at the world-renowned AUVSI Xponential 2019 – from Monday 4/29 thru Thursday 5/2 at McCormick Place in Chicago. We’ll be on hand to show the world the latest design features and newest iterations of flight code that have even further enhanced the stability and flyability of our Aertos™ industrial drones.
Since we introduced the Aertos drones and their industry-awakening capability to navigate stably in the absence of GPS satellite signals without deploying ultrasound, LIDAR, or optical flow, our customers across the industries we serve have taken notice. Aertos™ UAVs from Digital Aerolus are now serving organizations in industrial inspection, mining, public safety, and other important industries.
Rugged Aertos drones deploy protected blades, a Bernoulli ducted fan design and our proprietary Folded Geometry flight Code™ – technology we believe will revolutionize how vehicles from drones to subs, cars, and planes navigate complicated environments. These and other Digital Aerolus innovations equip Aertos™ drones to complete flight missions indoors and in challenging environments that defeat other drones that can only fly stably when GPS signals are present.
When recent Great Midwest Bomb Cyclone invaded in early March 2019, the DA team what most of the rest of you did: we hunkered down in the record snows and barometric lows, and designed some autonomous behavior algorithms for our next generation of drones. We emerged a few days later without much of a compelling weather story.
But, the Missouri River wasn’t so lucky.
Here’s the river’s weather story: after the blizzard stopped howling and the sun came out and began to melt the snow, water started to soak the land, and the resulting overflow then inundated lower Iowa and upper Missouri. The river flooded to historic levels, and vast areas of northern Missouri were under water: towns; bridges and highways; homes. Thousands of people had to abandon their cars or evacuate their homes and businesses.
The DA field team decided to pack up an Aertos 120 drone so we could take a look. We drove to St. Joseph, MO, to fly over a flooded construction site. Later, we flew missions near the flooded Casino and inspected causeways, bridges, and riverbanks from the air.
In this video near St. Joseph, MO, pilot Jenna Squires flies the Aertos drone on a high-risk mission over the Missouri River and through a construction storage trailer near Interstate 29.
Rugged Aertos drones deploy protected blades and a Bernoulli ducted fan design and our proprietary Folded Geometry flight Code – technology we believe will revolutionize how vehicles from drones to subs, cars, and planes navigate complicated environments. These and other Digital Aerolus innovations equip Aertos drones to complete flight missions indoors and in dangerous environments that defeat other drones that can only fly when GPS signals are present.
An Aertos™ drone flies a mission in a functioning power facility in Missouri, navigating the Darth Vader Catwalk before peering into the Eye of Sauron – the portal of a natural gas burner.
DA pilot Jenna Squires deploys an Aertos 120 to complete this 12/18 indoor mission without LIDAR, optical flow, ultrasound, or other sensors. Protected blades and Bernoulli ducted fan design enable the UAV to survive collisions and successfully navigate harsh environments.
Rugged Aertos drones navigate indoors, in the dark, and in GPS denied environments thanks to the Digital Aerolus Mind of Motion Framework (MMF™) and Folded Geometry (FGC™) flight Code.
We believe DA technology will revolutionize how vehicles from drones to submarines, cars, and planes navigate complicated environments. These innovations equip Aertos drones to complete flight missions indoors and in dangerous environments that defeat outdoor drones that depend on GPS signals.
Digital Aerolus continues to deliver space age technology to the drone/UAS market. Our drones address the real-world challenges of public safety departments and police, fire, & emergency response officers, infrastructure inspections in energy facilities and mines, warehousing operations — for clients that need solutions in these and many other applications. We give clients the capability to fly missions indoors, underground, or near areas dense with GPS-interference.
Digital Aerolus UAVs deploy our cornerstone Folded Geometry flight Code (FGC™) technology, a flight control and operating system built on advanced flight mathematics used in space navigation and unique to the consumer and commercial drone/UAS industry.
FGC™ and other proprietary Digital Aerolus technologies offer sustainable and competitive advantages, and deliver previously unimagined performance characteristics to the dynamic and growing UAV market.
You’ve probably had the chance to make a long 2-state day trip for the opportunity to demonstrate to a prospective client your problem-solving technology that accomplishes things your competitors cannot. You’ve made your plan, tested your hardware, assembled your team early in the morning, pounded across the Midwest prairie, met your client in his high-technology facility, told your story, pulled your unique leading-edge hardware out of its transportation case – – and then startled your client with an afternoon of successful drone imaging missions.
Or, maybe you haven’t.
Anyway, that’s pretty much what the DA field team did on Wednesday, January 6, 2019.
Well, it was a long and challenging day. There’s a zillion things that can go wrong in a long technical day. For example, the breakfast menu screen in your Big Chain highway-stop restaurant might get suddenly infected with some kind of Blue Screen Of Death that causes a delay in your waffle order.
But: despite a few minor obstacles, we were able to successfully accomplish our major objectives:
set up the Aertos drone to fly indoors in a complicated dusty space with narrow access opening, confined quarters, and no GPS
execute several sustained flight missions for our client
demonstrate in these real-world instances the unique capabilities of the Aertos drones, our FGC flight code technology, and the DA team.
So, take a look. Here’s some imagery we obtained flying in the interior of a decommissioned coal bunker:
This was not an easy flight. No one had been inside this structure in more than a decade, and concrete spalling and rusting beams presented some treacherous hazards. The risks were significant.
The Aertos drone flew like a champ and completed numerous missions, navigating predictably indoors and in a challenging environment without access to the GPS signals that the drones from our competition depend on.
We’ve worked on our technology for years – ever since realizing that what we learned while we grew our roots in space navigation could capably serve terrestrial drones. We intend to unlock the 50% of the world that up until now has not been accessible to commercial UAVs that can’t navigate stably without signals from earth-orbit satellites. We deploy Aertos UAVs with our proprietary Folded Geometry flight Code into mines, warehouses, and power plants, and around dense infrastructure that defeats other commercial inspection drones.
The team at the power plant was impressed — and they told us so. We hope Aertos drones will soon be flying lots of missions for this power company.
And, that’s a good day – even if the breakfast screen at Denny’s had a Blue Screen Of Death.
The flight team had an eventful weekend in early December.
We arranged with a major energy plant in the Midwest to fly an Aertos 120 inspection drone inside their facility – to look for the small steam leak we’d heard about. This facility provides energy to major facilities and metropolitan infrastructure.
The risks were significant: the plant would not shut down during the flight, and the Digital Aerolus team and the facility must trust in the technology that allows Aertos drones to navigate indoors and in challenging environments where signals from GPS satellites are not available.
The power generating facility is sturdy and timeworn: deliberate, overbuilt, and dense with looming tangles of pipe, brick, and steel. The twisted maze of tubes and passageways and the anachronistic Steampunk surroundings gave us the feeling we were exploring the past.
We believe in our technology; Digital Aerolus is unlocking the 50% of the world that up until now has not been accessible to exploration by commercial UAVs that don’t know how to navigate stably without signals from earth-orbit satellites. We’re deploying Aertos UAVs with proprietary Folded Geometry flight Code to fly indoor and underground missions – – in mines, warehouses, and power plants, and around dense instructure that defeats other commercial inspection drones.
In the 3-camera video stream below, the Aertos 120 drone conducts several slow passes inside the facility’s large room to complete a sustained 6+-min. flight mission examining pipes, tanks, and infrastructure. (Note that the PiP FPV cam image is continuous to illustrate the duration of this sustained flight.) The payload includes 2 onboard hi-res cams: a Foxeer Predator Micro FPV, and a gimbal-mounted Garmin VIRB Ultra 30.
This mission was a success. While we did not discover any steam leaks on this particular flight, we demonstrated the reliability of our technology and earned the respect and trust of the facility team. They’ve invited us to return and conduct further missions that will help the facility and the company.
It turns out that flying a drone underground isn’t that easy.
You’ve seen drones before: flying at the park, hoovering in your back yard, surveying real estate, for sale at the Discount Club, maybe at your kid’s birthday party. But, every one of those drones – machines that that cost anywhere from $10 through a few thou$and – shares something: they can’t fly stably without GPS signals from earth satellites. Some inexpensive drones do fly indoors, but they’re too small, erratic, and clumsy to carry a meaningful payload. The popular $1K-range consumer drones from Chinese companies fly well enough support a nice camera, but only outdoors — and after they take a few minutes to lock onto satellites with their GPS receivers.
Digital Aerolus is committed to developing the next generation of flying robots: drones and other vehicles that are smart enough to complete useful tasks with minimal input from operators. Today, we use advanced robotics, rugged construction, and our proprietary Folded Geometry Code (FGC)™ OS to build drones capable of flying indoors, underground, and in other challenging spaces.
Here’s why the Aertos 120™ inspection drone excels in a challenging underground environment like a mine:
innovative ducted fan propulsion protects spinning blades from contacting cave walls or the operator’s hand
rugged carbon fiber frame allows the drone to survive rocky collisions with no damage
high-math FGC™ operatng system does not require GPS for stable, predictable indoor and underground flight
gimballed camera with powerful illuminator defeats dark environments
rapid near-instant deployment allows simple and easy launch & land
In the video below, novice pilot Jenna Squires runs the Aertos 120™ through some of its paces in a limestone mine in Lenexa, KS.
We’re headed back to that mine soon – for a more challenging exploration of the cave. Stand by for more from the DA team!
[& yes, Dave P. I know that drones “hover” instead of “hoover”. Turn your guitar down so you can hear, my friend.]
Assorted team members – management, marketing, sales, tech – arrived on Monday 10/1 to quickly organize our presentation before the networking Happy Hour reception started at 5PM. Activities included assembling the show booth and fly tent, & a quick Uber trip to Best Buy to purchase another Samsung flat screen.
We were surprised: our booth happened to be located directly on the path that led into the Happy Hour event. On their way to/from the reception room, lots of Expo attendees stopped to talk to us about the rapid deploy GPS-denied UAVs in the Digital Aerolus booth and fly space.
On Tuesday and again on Wednesday, we spoke with a stream of customers and clients attracted by the noise and lights the Aertos 120™ industrial inspection drone was making inside our indoor test flight tent. Engineer & pilot Chris Aguayo demonstrated the advanced capabilities of the Aertos™ drone, including its ability to survive collisions and to hover stably with the pilot’s hand off the controls.
Customers seemed most interested in these advanced features of the Aertos™:
* Flying indoors without GPS in a space dense with competing radio frequencies
* The drone’s rugged construction allowed it to survive collisions with a hand or an object
* We demonstrated hands-off stability and hovering in a confined space
* We launched from slanted and irregular surfaces
* The AT 120’s protected blades inside ducted fans allowed Chris to safely catch-terminate the flights
The team stayed constantly busy talking to potential clients and customers, industry contacts, partners, and new friends. Industry contacts introduced promising discussions into a variety of markets and use cases, including mining operations, power grids, airport and power plant inspections, as well as proposals to mount special-case cameras or other hardware on our platform.
The show close late Wednesday afternoon was chaotic – many exhibitors were competing for the same scarce resources like rolling carts and access to the FedEx station to arrange to ship equipment home. But overall, Commercial UAV Expo 2018 was a success. Thanks for reading!
Rod Underdown explains the advantages of FGC Flight code to a potential drone customer
CEO Jeff Alholm takes a short booth break to talk with Rod Underdown and Jameson Huckaba.
[Of course, checking the NFL Monday Night Football score of the Kansas City/Denver game was critical – we wanted to know how the undefeated Chiefs were doing! Some us eventually managed to watch part of the end of that game. Go Chiefs!]
We caught part of the Chiefs/Broncos game on the ginormous multi-screen Sports Bar at the Westgate,
Commercial UAV Expo is one of the largest drone conferences of its kind, targeting professionals in civil infrastructure, power and energy, construction, law enforcement/emergency response, mining, and many other markets and disciplines.
We’ve arranged an indoor fly space next to our booth where the Digital Aerolus team will demonstrate our drone technologies and the vehicles in the Aertos™ UAV family. Thanks to the proprietary mathematics of Folded Geometry (FGC™) flight code, Digital Aerolus drones fly predictably and stably in indoor spaces and in other challenging spaces where GPS signals are unreliable or unavailable.
Come by and see us at Booth #1508. Or, we’ll be posting updates and pics here on our Latest News blog page.