Mainstream media outlets, the FAA itself and plenty others have published articles and insights around what Part 107 will mean to commercial drone operators now that it’s official. Part 107 will undoubtedly be a key aspect of the continued evolution of the industry as a whole, but that evolution is fueled by innovative products, one of which was announced by Kespry on the same day Part 107 went into effect.
The Kespry Drone 2.0 is a new lighter-weight drone that flies twice as long as the first model. It also covers twice the ground area and has twice the wind resilience, due to the new airframe, battery, and flight system improvements. Full details are available via the press release below.
I wanted to find out a bit more about the new drone itself as well as how Part 107 might impact anyone looking to utilize it, and Kespry CEO Paul Doersch was kind enough to answer a few of those questions. Find out which of the updates are the most significant as well as what this announcement means to current and new operators.
Jeremiah Karpowicz: Last time we connected, Part 107 had just been announced, but the rule is now officially official. Will we someday look back on August 29th as the day the industry changed forever?
Paul Doersch: Part 107 really is a game changer. The limits on 333 exemptions made it difficult for the commercial drone industry to move beyond trials and R&D with large enterprises. There is a huge shift coming – now that there are clear rules and a straightforward licensing system in place, we will see the commercial drone industry taking off in the same way we’ve seen the consumer space over the last few years.
Of course, August 29th is also a big day for you with the announcement of Kespry Drone 2.0, which provides operators with twice as much drone in many respects. Which of the new and/or improved features do you feel is the most significant?
The top Kespry customer request has been to map more area, especially from larger aggregate customers with multiple large sites, as well as having the drone fly faster and be able to operate in stronger 25-35 mph winds. And customers flying in congested environments will appreciate the increased autonomy and safety of our new obstacle avoidance system.
Is this an upgrade Kespry Drone 1.0 owners need to consider making?
The Kespry Drone 1.0 is operating very well, so there’s no urgent need for customers to upgrade drones. Most will be upgrading when their current lease ends over the next twelve months. Some may choose to upgrade sooner to take advantage of a specific new drone feature, like more ground coverage or obstacle avoidance.
The design of the drone is really sleek, to the point that it almost looks like it’s a floating eye. What can you tell us about the form factor?
The design of the new Kespry drone is entirely an exercise in form following function. The engineering team set out to develop an industrial drone with incredible flight time, much higher wind resilience, satisfying demanding industrial data accuracy requirements, and sporting a brand new LiDAR-based obstacle avoidance system, all under two kilograms–and they did it!
Why is the customized Sony industrial camera that’s included with this drone significant? What kind of challenges can geospatial professionals avoid because of it?
The tight and custom integration of Sony’s brand new industrial camera is one of hundreds of details that the engineering team worked on to achieve these incredible performance characteristics, especially lowering the weight. The angled Sony camera also helps with the accuracy of 3D models used frequently in the Kespry Cloud.
Is the Kespry Drone 2.0 the right fit for an individual or organization that had been waiting for Part 107 to explore how drones could impact their business?
Absolutely. Kespry has remained a market leader by building a truly complete solution, which includes easy mission planning, automated flight, automated data transfer and processing, and the specific tools necessary to make that data useful. The Kespry Drone 2.0 is an improvement on our core product – we’ve integrated a best-in-class obstacle avoidance system for operating in more densely populated areas, better wind resilience, unmatched flight time and coverage area for a quadcopter, and many more tools to make the data more useful and actionable than ever before.
New Kespry Drone 2.0 Has Twice The Aerial Coverage
AUG 29, 2016 (Menlo Park, California) — Kespry, which designs automated drone systems for commercial use, today announced the new Kespry Drone 2.0. The new lighter-weight drone flies 2X as long, covers 2X the ground area, and has 2X the wind resilience, due to the new airframe, battery, and flight system improvements.
Based on requests from commercial customers, the new Kespry Drone 2.0 now flies over 30 minutes per flight, covering up to 150 acres at a 400 foot altitude, and can operate effectively in up to 25 mph sustained winds and 35 mph wind gusts.
“With the lighter and faster Kespry Drone 2.0, Lehigh Hanson sites will be able to map larger areas faster,” said Mike Moy at Lehigh Hanson. “The expanded ground coverage and obstacle avoidance will allow the plants to more effectively manage their inventories, safely assess mine pits, and help control costs.”
The new Kespry Drone 2.0 weighs under 2 kilograms, which puts it in the “Micro UAV” category for streamlined regulatory compliance around the world.
Kespry delivers a fully-automated drone system, which takes off, flies the designated flight path, and lands, all without operator intervention or even a joystick. To help customers operating in congested areas, including applications like roof inspections for insurance claims, the new Kespry Drone 2.0 is the first automated drone system that includes an on-board LiDAR sensor that automatically detects and avoids obstacles like trees, cranes, and buildings.
The new Kespry Drone 2.0 also has a lighter-weight and customized Sony industrial camera that captures more geospatial data for detailed 3D models that assist companies in areas like mine planning, operations, inspection and safety.
“We’ve seen increased demand from technology partners like Kespry in the drone and robotics markets,” commented John Monti, director of visual imaging solutions at Sony Electronics. “The new lightweight Sony UMC-R10C is designed specifically for industrial applications leveraging low weight while maintaining high-quality image capture.”
The Kespry Drone 2.0 continues to be the only fully automated and integrated commercial drone system that’s easy for companies to deploy at scale. The Kespry Drone, Kespry App, and Kespry Cloud reporting systems all work together seamlessly, so companies can quickly collect and analyze valuable aerial intelligence.
Based in Menlo Park in the heart of Silicon Valley, Kespry® is the leader in commercial drones and aerial intelligence, enabling companies to better collect, analyze, and share information to improve their business operations. The Kespry Drone System is the most advanced on the market with a full-stack design, automated customer operation, and new lightweight drone under two kilograms. Kespry has been rapidly deployed with proven results at leading companies across the aggregates, construction and insurance industries. Founded in 2013, Kespry investors include Lightspeed Venture Partners and DCM Ventures. More at www.kespry.com