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Go-to-Market, High-Tech UAV for civilian applications

Key data

Project period
2013 – 2015
Topic
Go-to-Market, Emerging Technologies

Client

A German drone StartUp company (UAV = Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) based in Bavaria, which was sold to US semiconductor manufacturer INTEL in 2015.

Background

Autonomous or remote-controlled drones are known to the public for their military purposes. My assignment was to find a market for civil applications for this new high-tech UAS (UAS = Unmanned Aerial System) worth the price of a medium-sized car (€ 30,000). For this interim mandate, the customer searched for innovative, out-of-the-box thinking combined with experience in management and sales and, in particular, experience in the market launch of technical products.

Goals

Marketing and development of new, customer-centered applications using an unmanned multicopter platform
Monetization of the new drone technology – develop a viable business model

Strategy & Execution

  • Identify what USPs would allow this product to develop specific applications that would allow market inroads:
    1. The (patented) V-shaped architecture of the drone with integrated camera, which can look both down and up, is ideally suited for the industrial inspection of buildings, facades and bridges
    2. Thanks to its advanced control algorithm (the autopilot), the innovative high-tech drone can fly in strong winds as well in the vicinity of strong magnetic fields. It is therefore suitable for industrial inspection of wind turbines (strong electromagnetic fields) and chimneys on oil platforms on the high seas (strong winds)
  • Precision agriculture identified as a fields of application:
    1. By installing an infrared camera, insufficiently watered areas (e.g. golf courses) could be identified when flying over them => In this way, the water consumption and the sprinkling system could be optimally planned
    2. With a multi-spectral camera as the payload, the degree of pest infestation could also be measured in a vegetable field and targeted countermeasures could be initiated
  • Development of an innovative PR concept to increase the level of awareness with little monetary investment, such as "road shows" (Telefónica)
  • Partnership with Spanish aviation authority AESA
  • Sales training for customers in the surveying industry, in Norway, Germany, Spain and Italy

Results

Two areas of application detected and first best-practice cases developed:
  • industrial inspection
  • precision agriculture, the economical use of water and avoidance of expensive insecticides in orchards
New potential customers found and presented to:
  • chemical and construction industries
  • companies in the agricultural sector
  • Surveying industry
I developed best-case videos for the respective applications which helped the company to its commercial breakthrough
Training and certification of prospective UAV pilots due to partnership with AESA. Development of the course syllabus
To solve acute challenges I offer you my support even at short notice.
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