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From Apple Picking to Security Details: 6 Israeli Companies Developing Specialized Drones

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From Apple Picking to Security Details: 6 Israeli Companies Developing Specialized Drones

The potential for drones does not end with taking elaborate selfies, as the UAVs can be used for an array of tasks, in fields as versatile as security, agriculture, retail, and last-mile deliveries

Adi Pick  :  2019-07-30T14:55:22..

Over the past few years, drones have really taken off, going from a pastime for flight enthusiasts to a not-uncommon household gadget. But the potential for the small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) does not end with taking elaborate selfies or accidentally shutting down London’s Gatwick airport.

Drones can be used for an array of tasks, in fields as versatile as security, agriculture, retail, and last-mile deliveries. Below are six Israeli companies developing drones capable of completing complicated tasks.

Tevel

Year founded: 2016

Funding to date: $10 million, according to Pitchbook data

Field: agritech

Founder: Yaniv Maor

Tevel Tevel's fruit picking drone. Photo: Tevel Tevel

Tevel Aerobotics Technologies Ltd. develops autonomous drones equipped with a one-meter long mechanical claw, which can pick fruit, or be used for thinning and pruning tasks in orchards. Tevel’s drones are equipped with artificial intelligence capabilities that let them identify fruit types, blemishes, and the fruit’s level of ripeness. While the company’s current version is only able to pick apples and oranges, Tevel is working to expand its drones’ capabilities to include additional fruits such as avocados and mangoes. In addition to its fleet of drones, Tevel intends to offer its own fleet management software, which collects and tracks data such as the fruit yield of each tree in the orchard as well as fruit quality.

Flytrex

Year founded: 2013

Funding to date: $10.5 million, according to Pitchbook data

Field: deliveries

Founders: Yariv Bash, Amit Regev

Flytrex Aviation Ltd. develops a cellular data communication module that allows operators to remotely control any drone using a mobile app in order to deliver food and goods. Flytrex’s drones are capable of delivering packages to the ground without landing using a detachable wire. In September 2018, Flytrex partnered with North Dakota’s King's Walk Golf Course to offer food deliveries to golfers on the course. In 2018, Flytrex and local partner e-commerce company Aha.is began operating a drone delivery system to send goods across the river in Reykjavík, Iceland.

SkyX

Year founded: 2017

Funding to date: Approximately $125,000, according to Pitchbook data

Field: agritech

Founder: Eylon Sorek, Itzik Turkel, Michal Devir, Michal Devir

SkyX Ltd. develops technology that turns commercially available drones into spraying machines for use in agriculture. When spraying, the drones also take pictures and collect data about the terrain, crops, and pesticides, in order to optimize the fleet’s route using real-time auto-piloting.

Civdrone

Year founded: 2018

Funding to date: Approximately $450,000, according to Pitchbook data

Field: construction

Founders: Tom Yeshuron, Liav Muller

Civdorne Ltd. develops a mountable device that turns commercially availabledrones into land surveying, measuring, and marking machines for construction sites. Equipped with Civedrone’s device and software, a drone can both survey the land using its built-in GPS system and insert stakes into the ground without requiring the presence of an operator on location. Each stake used by the drones can be marked with a QR code, giving the construction team exact data and instructions.

 

Airobotics

Year founded: 2014

Funding to date: $101 million, according to Pitchbook

Field: patrol

Founders: Ran Krauss, Meir Kliner

Airobotics Ltd. develops automatic drones capable of performing security details and land surveys at factories, refineries, and mining sites. The company’s drones take off from a large custom made box-shaped docking station and go about on their pre-assigned aerial missions. The drones fly back to the crate for recharging, storage, and sometimes for an automatic replacement of a specific camera or sensor.

 

IAI

Year founded: 1953

Field: defense

Last year, state-owned defense contractor Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) announced its new “suicide drone.” Rotem, the drone uses a grenade to attack and destroy targets in combat situations. Once in the air, the drone is operated by a quiet electric engine and transmits high-resolution visuals to a tablet device allowing the operator to monitor the situation and lock on to a specific target from a safe distance of up to 9.5 kilometers.

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