Airobotics joins the Ondas family

Israeli autonomous drone developer Airobotics will be joining the Ondas family of companies.

This was revealed through an announcement made by the parent company Ondas Holdings – a provider of private wireless data (through Ondas Networks) and automated drone solutions (though American Robotics) – which said it was acquiring Airobotics, in a deal Ondas says will help accelerate the company’s drone business with technical development and a regulatory roadmap to expand the breath of autonomous drone applications.

“Airobotics’ Optimus System is a sophisticated automated drone platform designed for high- value use cases in industrial, homeland security and smart city services markets,” said Eric Brock, Chairman and CEO of Ondas.

“The proposed acquisition of Airobotics will provide strategic technology, regulatory, and business capabilities to both American Robotics and Ondas Networks, opening new geographies and end markets and further strengthening our ability to deliver complete end-to-end solutions for customers on a global scale.

“This opportunity demonstrates the leadership role Ondas Networks and American Robotics currently have in defining next-generation, mission-critical industrial data solutions and signals a new growth phase for the commercial drone sector.”

Based on the company’s stock prices, Ondas will be acquiring Airobotics for something around $18.4million, which comes as a surprise for a start-up that has raised $130million on its own since its inception. An analyst in the industry has tried to shed light on why: it a case of an old drone story made worse by a tightening VC market, David Benowitz, Head of Research and drone industry research and analysis firm DroneAnalyst says.

According to Benowitz, Airobotics tried to accomplish way too much in too little time – developing a fully autonomous drone-in-a-box before building a solid foundation for their product and services. Moreover, they released their product without a legal and reasonable pathway in place for real adoption or to scale operations.

And in their time of need, Ondas has jumped at the opportunity to acquire a great product on the cheap.

Founded in Petah Tikva, Israel in 2014, Airobotics has gained worldwide fame in the drone industry for its Optimus System; an advanced, autonomous unmanned aircraft system (UAS) focused on high-value applications in industrial, homeland security, and smart city services markets.

“Airobotics is in its final stages to receive a precedential Type Certificate by the FAA for its Optimus UAS, a feat no drone company has ever accomplished,” Ondas said in a statement.

“As part of this process, the FAA has published the safety criteria for the Optimus System which will allow Airobotics to certify its highly automated drone system, automating all phases of flight including swapping batteries and payloads and eventually permitting operation over cities and other populated areas. Airobotics expects to have one of the first Drone-in-a-Box (DIB) system to receive such certification from the FAA.”

The company has a client base in Israel, the USA, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates; and is planning to expand into new markets.

“We look forward to joining the Ondas family and the American Robotics team,” said Meir Kliner, CEO and Co-Founder of Airobotics. “Ondas Networks has demonstrated market leadership in the development of their wireless and automated industrial technology platforms, and American Robotics has pioneered fully automated drone operation through its precedent-setting FAA beyond visual line of sight (“BVLOS”) approvals.

“This combination will offer Airobotics the opportunity to expand globally, especially in the United States, which we believe is the largest market for our Optimus System. The technologies and talented people at Ondas Networks and AR will strengthen our systems and services, improving our ability to participate in the scaling of the commercial drone economy.”

Ondas hopes that the merger of American Robotics and Airobotics’ engineering and aviation talent, regulatory leadership, and world-class technology platforms will further provide “an opportunity to offer a broader scope of solutions and services for customers in accelerated timelines.

“Further, we expect the combined company will be a true global provider of automated drone solutions to a broader range of markets and applications, allowing multi-national customers and governments to focus their UAS programs with the leading solutions provider.”


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