Israeli startups join surge in drone development

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The Startup Nation drone operators focus on improving rather than manufacturing the unmanned aerial vehicles.

As befitting the Startup Nation, Israel has at least ten companies working on the next big development in drone technology not in manufacturing, but in software and supporting hardware.

Dronomy, led by Ori Aphek, raised $1.5 million two months ago from Battery Ventures, Look Ventures, and Oryzn Capital, as well as Saul Klein and former Skype CEO Josh Silverman. We work in the specific sector of autonomous drones which maintain control without the direct input of an operator even if there are obstacles in their path, said Aphek.

The drones that use our hardware can recognize obstacles, avoid them, and properly adjust their course. It allows any person to fly a drone even without a direct line of sight. In other words, explained Aphek, you can operate a drone without worrying it will get stuck in a tree, wire, or building.

Aphek believes the accelerated interest in the sector was because different technologies improved and their costs were cut motion sensors, batteries, processors making drones even cheaper. He also cited DJI, which was the first company to sell a fully-functioning drone out of the box, without any additional work.

Dronomy is not alone in the sector domestically. Other Israeli drone startups include Airscort, which is developing autonomous charging stations for drones; Percepto, which specializes in developing apps for drones; and SkyTrex, which created a drone that works through the cloud.

The drone industry is shaping up to be one of the hottest sectors in the startup world, but regulation is trailing far behind. Current laws prohibit certain activities, like operating drones over long distances outside of the operators line of sight, which has been limiting developments in the field by some companies most notably Amazon.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 2, 2015

Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2015

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