Israel’s experience of using military drones has given them an advantage and they are currently leading the drone race. The country is the biggest military drone exporter in the world, supplying almost 61 percent of the drones sold since the mid 80’s.
As a result, the likes of aviation, robotics, and computer vision experts have been putting their military experience to good use and have turned their attention to the commercial drone market.
There are around 40 Israeli commercial drone startups who are catering to various needs and operating across many industries. The majority of these drone companies were established in the last two to three years. What’s particularly interesting, is that 42 percent of these early-stage companies have secured capital in a very short space of time and investors have put in $80 million into the commercial drone sector.
The commercial drone sector in Israel, in general, can be broken down into four segments: autonomous platforms, anti-drone and cybersecurity solutions, systems and components, and drone providers.
Let’s firstly take a look at autonomous platforms. Autonomous platforms are the future of the commercial drone industry, this is because they enable drones to complete tasks without any human intervention. For example, drones that are designed to deliver packages to their destination (think of Amazon’s drone concept).
Companies to keep an eye out for include: Airobotics, Flytrex, Arbe Robotics and AerialGuard.
Anti-drone and Cyber Security Solutions
Moving onto the next drone segment, Anti-drone and cyber security solutions; as we know from many reported cases, there are risks created and associated with drones, as a result, mitigation is needed.
It’s therefore paramount that the general public is protected against the likes of rogue drones and hackers. Many entrepreneurs in Israel have come from a cyber-security and defence background and many in this tech space are developing systems that can intercept drones that could be a potential threat to the public.
Companies associated with this sector include ApolloShield, Cybermoon and RegulusX.
Systems and Components
The fact that many drones operate in an array of industries means that this form of disruptive technology needs different systems and components. There are start-ups in the Israeli commercial drones industry that cater to this need, from drone sensors to 3D mapping.
Companies that come under this category include ParaZero and Sensilize. Both have created some innovative systems and components. ParaZero are developing a parachute recovery system for malfunctioning drones, and in contrast, Sensilize is working on a multispectral sensor for drones that are used for agricultural purposes.
Specialised Drone Providers
Drone providers, as mentioned in systems and components, operate in many industries, this has led in a rise in specialised drone providers that can offer solutions tailored to fit a particular industry’s needs.
Drone providers in Israel include:
- Fitch, which is currently developing the first-ever drone for fishing;
- Sky Sapience, which is creating a drone for security and safety applications;
- Colugo, the Bitzaron based company designing a light and low consumption drone for delivery and inspection purposes.
To summarise, the drone sector in Israel is flourishing, by expanding into many areas of the tech space. In a nation where geopolitics always makes headline news, it’s refreshing to hear that they have used their military expertise to good use by driving drone innovation.
Thanks to these innovators, we can expect to see many more uses for drones that can benefit us all.