Optron enters deal to supply GPS-denied drones across Africa

There will be fully autonomous drones flying into GPS-denied environments in Africa soon.

This, after American robotics company, Exyn Technologies announced a partnership with Optron, a geospatial technology supplier in Africa, as its first ever distributor for the whole African continent.

The deal expands on the one the two companies signed last year, which gave Optron the legal authority to supply Exyn products in Southern Africa.

Founded as a spin off of the University of Pennsylvania robotics laboratory in 2014, Exyn Technologies develops autonomous aerial robot systems for complex, GPS-denied environments. Applications include 3D mapping, flexible autonomy, industrial inspection, change detection, GPS-denied navigation and custom sensor payloads.

The company’s full-stack solution enables flexible deployment of single or multi-robots that can intelligently navigate and dynamically adapt to complex environments in real-time.

Thus far; the company has developed two products – the Exyaero drone which can autonomously fly into dangerous environments, like mine shafts and underground drains, for survey, mapping and inspection purposes.

“The ExynAero, an autonomous and self-piloting aerial drone, was the industry-leading product that helped open the door to the relationship,” Exyn said in a statement. “The company’s full-stack solution enables flexible deployment of single or multi-robots that can intelligently navigate and dynamically adapt to complex environments in real-time.” 

The ExynPak

They also have the ExynPak, a 3D mapping tool that can be attached to the Exynaero and tag along as the 3D mapping expert, which can work without GPS or any communications of any kind.

Exyn’s arrival on the African industrial market will see them competing with other autonomous aerial solutions suppliers like Rocketmine and TerraCam; adding the availability on the market of an autonomous underground option that brings safer working conditions for the local mining industry, according to Exyn.

The company added that it was the presence of Optron in several countries in sub-Saharan Africa, supplying and supporting products with the assistance of a select network of resellers and agents, which perfectly positioned it to help Exyn expand its product across the continent.

 “We are excited to be part of the Exyn dealer network,” said Sean Dane, Head of New Business Technology and Development at Optron. “Their ground-breaking autonomous drone system is the ideal solution to safely and easily capture accurate 3D data in the hazardous underground mining environment.”

Exyn claims its products will bring a new level of autonomy, safety and efficiency never before seen in Africa, as well as new portable mapping solutions, easy-to-use high-tech tools, beyond-line-of-sight data capture, and increased workflow and on-site data processing. These features will enhance suitability for the underground mining environment, and infrastructure inspection and maintenance, and will offer increased safety to mining operations.

 “We’re excited to be expanding into new markets by replacing legacy technology with a simple, autonomous solution,” Nader Elm, CEO and Co-Founder of Exyn Technologies, said. “Safety is the number one concern in mining and I’m confident that, through our partnership with Optron, we’re one step closer to achieving fully autonomous mining operations.”

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