Intelligence Platform For Drones
Soar Robotics enables companies to operate drones and manage drone-collected data autonomously.
The company offers two options:
• Cloud-based software that turns drones and other aerial vehicles into “smart” “connected” robots.
• Or a “Drone-in-a-box” system that includes a fully autonomous drone and the accompanying software.
This technology was designed to meet the needs of companies in some of the world’s largest industries, including energy, agriculture, and security. In the U.S. alone, these industries are valued at more than $1.2 trillion.
By incorporating Soar’s technology, companies in these markets can:
• Reduce labor costs by more than 80%.
• Hire fewer technical personnel tasked with completing challenging jobs.
• Continuously manage industrial zones remotely.
• And maximize revenues using a fully autonomous system.
It should be noted that, currently, the main limitation for autonomous drone operation lies with the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA requires that drones have a certified operator who must maintain visual line of sight with the vehicle at all times.
While the FAA hasn’t issued any direct regulations regarding fully autonomous drone operations, the government regulator grants waivers if the drone meets certain requirements. Soar’s drones meet these requirements.
Soar is led by a team with extensive experience in robotics and Artificial Intelligence.
Co-Founder Kerem Ozkan is a serial entrepreneur who founded Calide Investments, a firm investing in startups focused on AI, robotics, and renewable energy. And Co-Founder Deniz Kalaslioglu has 7 years of experience researching and developing autonomous drones.
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, a professional services company, the global market for drone-enabled commercial solutions is $127 billion. Increased adoption of unmanned drone flights and the implementation of government regulations is expected to push this industry to $300 billion by 2025.
The problem is that companies fail to utilize drones and aerial vehicles effectively and securely for industrial applications.
Drones become inefficient and primitive tools in the hands of a human operator, both in terms of in-flight operations and the handling of data that’s been collected. This limits the potential of a drone’s ability to help businesses maximize revenues.
Compounding this problem is the fact that current drones have little or no access to real-time or long-term robotic intelligence to help them become “smarter” and more autonomous.
Soar solves these issues by turning drones into mission-executing robots.
Simply put, the company’s system automizes tasks including flight, data collection, battery recharging, and data processing. These operating stages used to be part of a cycle that required human supervision.
Soar’s “Drone-in-a-box” solution automates this cycle and creates increased value at a fraction of its previous overall cost.
The company’s system consists of an autonomous drone, recharging dock, data linking technology, weather protection features, and a proprietary cloud intelligence platform.
The system is deployable in under two hours. And because of its modular design, it’s capable of serving the needs of companies in almost any industry.
Here’s how it works:
An operator assigns the drone a specific mission. After completing a self-check, the drone takes off and starts its job. Data is collected from industrial sites while maintaining real-time connection to the “cloud.”
After it lands, the drone automatically recharges and the collected data is sent to the Intelligent Robotics Cloud. Finally, data is processed using Artificial Intelligence and the operator receives the actionable information.
Soar’s drones come equipped with autonomous collision detection and avoidance features. These features enable the drone to use computer vision cameras and distance sensors to detect possible collisions and select a new route.
In addition, each drone has an ADS-B transponder, which “pings” its coordinates to manned aircrafts that also have ADS-B systems on board. This technology is becoming more prevalent in the drone industry. DJI, for example, is committed to adding this feature in all of its drones in 2020.
As mentioned, Soar’s software can be used with existing drones for companies that already use aerial vehicles. In fact, its software can be integrated with drones made by some of the world’s largest manufacturers, such as DJI, Parrot, and Yuneec.
Soar generates revenue under what it calls a Robotics-as-a-service model, or “RaaS.” Essentially, customers have two options:
Those who only need the company’s main automation software pay $1,500 per month per aerial vehicle. The cost for Soar’s analytics and data analysis software is an additional $750 per month.
For those customers who need hardware, too, Soar charges a $7,500 initiation fee for its “Drone-in-a-box” system. This is followed by a $4,500 monthly leasing charge for the hardware and software.
Soar is in the midst of finishing testing of its hardware and software components. The company has tested its precision landing algorithm in various weather and lighting conditions, and its drones successfully landed more than 50,000 times in real-life conditions.
The company is also developing a feature that will enable any drone to stay connected to its main network in any flying condition. This is important for flights that extend beyond an operator’s line of sight. Soar believes this feature will enable any type of drone to be able to conduct these types of flights.
Soar has secured deals with companies in the renewable energy and security industries. These contracts are expected to bring in an estimated $1 million in revenue in 2020.
Specifically, Soar’s drones will be inspecting and providing infrastructure security for a solar energy company, and 20 drone units will provide monitoring services to a security company.
In addition, Soar has been testing its system through an agriculture data provider with more than 20,000 farmers in its database. The company has also successfully tested its autonomous progress tracking a construction company’s progress from pre-construction through the project’s completion.
With funds raised, Soar will develop “multi-agent” drones that can accomplish several different tasks. For example, these drones will be able to automatically complete surveillance, parcel delivery, and area inspections.
Long-term, Soar believes its software will not only pair with drones and aerial vehicles, but also potentially be able to assist devices used in space exploration.
Kerem is a serial entrepreneur who has achieved two successful “exits” throughout his career.
Notably, he co-founded PCA, an advertising agency that conducted digital marketing for brands like Unilever, Nestle, KFC, and Time Warner. This company was acquired in October 2015.
And he founded Calide Investments, a venture capital firm that invests in startups focused on sectors including Artificial Intelligence, robotics, “Internet of Things,” and renewable energy.
Kerem has published more than 10 papers relating to AI and Visual Cognition, and these papers were featured in the Journal of Vision, an open online scientific journal specializing in neuroscience and psychology.
He earned a Master’s degree and Ph.D. in Cognitive Sciences from the University of California Irvine.
Deniz has more than seven years of experience researching and developing autonomous drone technology.
Prior to starting Soar, he was a partner at Doctus AI, a medical technology company using machine learning to strengthen medical care.
Before that, he spent three years as Chief Technology Officer at Robostate Hava, a company designing drones and drone-related software.
Throughout his career, Deniz has helped companies in the healthcare, energy, government, and automotive industries implement AI and autonomous technology into their business plans.
He began his career as an intern with Hexagon Studio, an automotive technology company, and also interned for Toyota (NYSE: TM).
Deniz earned a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering.
Aydin has a decade’s worth of experience in the robotics field.
Most recently, he was an autonomous vehicle engineer for Ford Otosan, an automotive company based in Turkey. Prior to that, he was Robotics Lead for Robostate Hava, the drone design company where he worked with Deniz.
He spent two years as an R&D Engineer for Matia Robotics, a company specializing in medical devices, and was a robotics engineer for SK Teknoloji, an IT services business.
Aydin earned a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master’s in Mechatronics Engineering.
Ilkay has five years of experience in aerial robotics software development. Specifically, he specialized in Artificial Intelligence for computer vision and sequential models.
He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering.
Orhan has a background in autonomous systems development. He has focused on mobile robotics control, navigation, and guidance.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering.
Arda focuses on cloud networking technologies. As of 2019, he has published six conference and journal papers about cloud data streaming architectures and video optimization.
He earned a Master’s degree in Computer Science.