Drones and Artificial Intelligence combined is the most buzzing word of this century. It is completely fascinating to see how these two can change the future of human life on earth. Drones have become important for everyone, from firefighters to farmers. 

Quick Fact:  Smart UAVs are so popular that they are now used on more than 400,000 job sites around the world. 

Today, we will be talking about:

  • Why do we need AI-powered drones?
  • Some latest innovations in AI drones.
  • List of top drone manufacturers – 2020

Let’s dive right in..

Why do we need AI-powered drones?

The potential of remote-controlled flying robots or drones is unlimited. With the help of Artificial Intelligence, drones can operate themselves and make decisions on behalf of their human controllers.

Drones often generate a large amount of useful data – sometimes even more than we can handle. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) are useful only if there is a way to process this vast data quickly and without putting additional efforts into the process. The faster, the accurate, and easier the data can be evaluated, the better it would be.

Above mentioned challenges can be taken care of by the combination of drones and Artificial Intelligence. Every company that deals with data processing, data analytics, or autonomous flight control claim the use of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.

Some latest innovations in AI-powered drones.

From security surveillance to aerial view monitoring, AI drones are now used by retail giants like Amazon to deliver products at the customer’s doorstep revolutionizing the traditional transportation and delivery systems.

Latest innovations:

  • New AI-driven drone named “Garud” designed by a startup at a village in Kochi to combat Covid-19
  • Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras have developed an AI-powered drone that can help law enforcement and security agencies as well as armed forces to secure Air space and military installations against rogue drones.
  • Drones like Matrice 300 RTK can be used for inspecting roofs, dangerous sites, and mining operations.
  • Sentera in partnered with John Deere created a piece of software called AgVault and a set of AI-enabled drones to collect information related to agriculture which can revolutionize the agriculture industry.

Some other areas in which innovations are happening:

  • Warehousing and Inventory
  • Infrastructure maintenance
  • Drones as services
  • Better obstacle tackling

List of top drone manufacturers – 2020

We have spent a lot of time and hours, understanding the majority of companies that are developing AI-powered drones so you don’t have to.

Here is our final list of 5 best AI drone manufacturers.


1. Aarav Unmanned Systems (AUS)

Aarav Unmanned Systems (AUS) provides professional drones for enterprises and is passionate about building the future of drones and their applications in enterprise segments.

Areas in which AUS is working:

  • Mining
  • Infrastructure
  • Urban Planning
  • Irrigation systems
  • Energy
  • Agriculture

Industry Impact:

Their innovative solutions offer 5 times decrease in data collection time with at least 1000 times more data density and best in class data accuracy. They are capable of providing a solution that can deliver 98% accuracy in volume estimation for mining industries.

Revenue: $16 MillionTop Clients: Adani, Vedanta, L&T, Coal India
Funding: $748.5KCustomer Segment: Private & Government Organisations
Series: SeedMarket Segment:  small and medium-sized businesses

2. SCALE AI

SCALE AI uses AI and specifically machine learning algorithms and software embedded in drones to help them identify, map, and recognize various objects like pedestrians, cars, etc.

Solutions and areas of SCALE AI:

  • Aerial Imagery
  • Video Annotation
  • Object Detection
  • Object Tracking
  • Path Planning
  • Quality Control (I.e Agriculture) 
Revenue: $10 MillionTop Clients: Toyota, NVIDIA, Samsung, Airbnb
Funding: $122.6 MillionInvestors: Founders Fund, Accel, Index Ventures
Round: Series CMarket Segment:  SME

3. Cron Systems

CRON Systems is a TechStars backed defence technology company that deploys security solutions for border defence and commercial security applications.

Areas in which CRON systems is working: 

  • UAVs
  • Automobiles
  • Mapping
  • Security (Border Defense)
  • General surveillance
Revenue: $8 MillionTop Clients/Partners:  NVIDIA, Xilinx
Investors: Your Nest Venture CapitalsCustomer Segment: Private & Government Organisations
Round: SeedMarket Segment:  SMB

4. DRONE SENSE

DroneSense is a comprehensive solution that empowers public safety organization to manage, scale, and build its drone program. DroneSense designs mission-critical software platforms that enable companies to leverage the full capabilities of drones in operations.

Revenue: $7 MillionTop Clients: Toyota, NVIDIA, Samsung, airbnb
Funding: $350KInvestors: Founders Fund, Accel, Index Ventures
Round: Series CMarket Segment:  SME


5. NEURALA

Neurala provides an AI platform that empowers companies to automate visual inspections and with the help of deep learning, neural networks drones can identify objects and generate a real-time data report.

Revenue: $7 MillionTop Clients: AVISIGHT, IHI, OPTELOS, LASERPAS
Funding: $20.1 MillionNeurala Brain Builder App: 100+ Downloads
Investors: Pelion Ventures, Sherpa Capitals, 360 Capital PartnersMarket Segment:  SMB

Conclusion

The drone service market is growing day by day with more and more businesses relying on location data to optimize their operations and planning. The applications and use cases of AI-powered drones are potentially endless.

According to the market research report “Global Drone Service Market Analysis & Trend – Industry Forecast to 2025”, the drone service market is estimated to USD 4.4 Billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 63.6 Billion by 2025.

Is there another Artificial Intelligence drone company that we have missed or belongs to the top 5 on the list? Let us know in the comments below!