Latest News

Jan 19, 2017 | Surveying and Mapping

Iris Automation to advance autonomous industrial drones


Drone technology startup Iris Automation is looking to expand and improve its advanced collision-avoidance system for industrial drones with a new round of funding. The company announced it has raised US$1.5 million to commercialize its sense-and-avoid system, and to enable drones to fly autonomously.

“We are delighted to have raised this round from leading investors in the drone space. We’re using this investment to accelerate product development, scale the early adopters program, and make completely autonomous and beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) drone operating a reality,” said Alexander Harmsen, CEO of Iris Automation.

The company’s system features real-time situational awareness, computer vision, and deep learning. The system is able to avoid collisions without having previous knowledge of its environment.

“For many companies, industrial drone operations would not be economically viable without the ability to fly autonomously and beyond-visual-line-of-sight,” said Hassan Bhatti, head of growth and partnerships at Iris. “Pipeline inspection, package delivery, large agribusinesses, and mining explorations are examples where BVLOS operations are needed and where Iris? sense-and-avoid system would be crucial in enabling true autonomy.”

The funding included backers from Social Capital, GGV Capital, Bee Partners, Liquid 2 Ventures, Kevin Moore and Paul Buchheit.