I droni del futuro avranno i loro "nidi" thumbnail

The drones of the future will have their “nests” • techgameworld.com

BARCELONA – Have you ever heard the expression “drone in a box“?
It literally means “drone in a box” and in reality this already tells you what it is: a drone that resides in a container and which, if necessary, can go out, carry out its tasks and then return “home”.
They are not a recent novelty. In reality they have been produced and used for a few years. For example, the Dubai police can use them to monitor traffic and any accidents, then reporting to the station what the situation is and thus allowing quicker intervention – because we know well where the accident occurred – and more precise – because we know exactly what has happened and what means are needed to help people or recover vehicles.

However, most of these systems use a box. A container positioned on the ground that protects the drone and recharges it to keep it ready for subsequent missions.
Dronus instead he thought of changing his perspective: their drones have a nest that is hung overhead.

Who is Dronus?

On the left Riccardo Benedetti, on the right Marco Ballerini

Dronus is an Italian company that produces industrial drones.
And that in itself is incredible enough.
We are faced with a company founded in 2018 in Trieste, which produces industrial drones and which does so entirely in Italy.
Not only that: “We had a winning idea: to do it in the air, not on land,” he explains Marco Ballerini, CEO of Dronus.

We are at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, ​​in the middle of the Qualcomm stand which hosts Dronus and its drone. Next to us Dancers and Riccardo Benedetti, co-founder of the company, who shows us a video on his smartphone: “Here we were in Piazza del Popolo, in Rome, for the 100th anniversary of the Air Force. They had invited us to do aerial monitoring of the situation during the event, so we set up our charging base that we call NEST (nido), without too much imagination, on a pole. Inside him is his drone that comes out when he has to do the mission. It’s all automated: it closes the hatches, inside the base we have a controlled temperature, it can recharge the battery, do video analysis, etc.
The drone leaves, flies over the square and sends the daytime and thermal video feeds in real time to a control center or a smartphone app, to a PC… wherever you want. And you can see what he’s doing. When the battery runs out or the operator decides that the mission is over, he enters the base, hangs up, starts charging and waits for the next mission.”

In short, basically the operation is similar to that of all other drones in a box but “the winning part, which allowed us to receive investments, is the fact that it is aerial – Ballerini explains to me – It changes completely. We have patented our docking station worldwide. I think it’s the only patented docking station, with patent recognition, it’s not just the presentation, in the United States, all of Europe, in China we’re waiting, Korea, India, Japan, etc.”

The partnership with Qualcomm and MWC 2024

Dronus has caught the attention of several companies, including Qualcomm.
A collaboration that has currently allowed the Italian startup to use American chips inside drones: “With the Qualcomm chips that we are installing on board we can already do much more real-time processing. So for applications such as smart cities or surveillance he is able to fly, make calculations on his own and possibly modify his flight plan compared to what he sees”, Benedetti tells us.

For example, in the case of surveillance it can recognize a person and follow them, reducing time because the report does not have to go to the cloud, the processing does not have to be done by the server and it does not have to wait to receive a response. Clearly it is a matter of a few seconds but seconds that can make the difference and which are significantly reduced by the use of a powerful chip that is capable of supporting artificial intelligence and complex algorithms.

Dronus al MWC 2024 con Qualcomm

“We are experimenting with them and Ericsson in the US 5G connectivity on a private network, therefore the drones that are connected as a data link using 5G on private networks”, concludes Riccardo Benedetti as he takes out his smartphone again to show us another use case, the one inside a warehouse.
Yes, because we usually associate drones with surveillance but in reality they can perform other tasks: “This is a system we use for the warehouse inventory. The system disengages, [..] it goes in front of the packages, recognizes the barcodes with the camera and then reads the barcode with the laser; at that point, by locating himself with the 3D map of the environment, he is able to place each package in a specific place in the warehouse and therefore takes a photograph of your warehouse every day without anyone’s intervention. He looks around and takes photos, recognizes, counts the boxes, places them…”.

Clearly they are different products because they have to perform different tasks but the framework, the starting point, is the same.

Dronus' drone

So private video surveillance, inventory but also and above all an eye for smart cities: “The winning idea is that of the aerial NEST. This little thing with a very low logistical impact weighs 8 kg, while the others did 150-160 kg. – specifies Marco Ballerini – It has more impact, especially if you build a smart city. You don’t put the box on the ground, you put it next to a streetlamp. So our concept is much closer to smart cities.”
There is therefore no need to think about where to put it and how to power it because you can attach it physically and from a power point of view to something that already exists, reducing the overall dimensions on the floor.
These elements are favoring the development of Dronus: “We have too many requests, it’s not possible to do it,” continues Ballerini, who explains to me that most of the interest comes from abroad, even if in Italy “we have already assembled the Nests. The Air Force, the Army and the Campania Region are asking us for them. There are our drones in the archaeological parks, in Herculaneum and Bari.”

Obviously the intention is to satisfy everyone’s requests and continue the development of the technology, but to do this we therefore need funds Dronus is looking for investors to be able to grow, thanks to an important patent and a technology that already seems future-proof.

Walker Ronnie is a tech writer who keeps you informed on the latest developments in the world of technology. With a keen interest in all things tech-related, Walker shares insights and updates on new gadgets, innovative advancements, and digital trends. Stay connected with Walker to stay ahead in the ever-evolving world of technology.