Flying Labs add cargo drone partner in AerialMetric

Humanitarian robotics organisation WeRobotics are not kidding when they preach the gospel of empowering local robotics start-ups to lead innovation in the areas they live.

For instance; the organisation has learned that in recent times, there has been a growing demand for cargo drones among their family of more than thirty Flying Labs in the Global South – so WeRobotics went about and found the perfect technology partner to carter for this gap in the process. And yes, you guessed right, the partner is based in Africa, and has been making drones for the past twelve years.

“We are very pleased to announce that the Madagascar-based drone company, AerialMetric, has formally joined WeRobotics and Flying Labs as an official Technology Partner,” announced WeRobotics yesterday. “Our partnership agreement with AerialMetric means that Flying Labs in 30plus countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Beyond will have preferred access to the company’s cargo drone technology and vast experience.”

AerialMetric joins another rising cargo drone manufacturer, the Amsterdam-based Avy, who, WeRobotics claim, operate on values are fully aligned with WeRobotics and Flying Labs.

It is indeed a proud moment for the family of drone technology providers dotted around the southern hemisphere, who rely on each other for knowledge sharing in cases where one of them needs help. Actually, this year, members of the Tanzania leg of the Flying Labs helped their counter parts in Senegal with pilot lessons for a new drone they had purchased but had no experience flying; the pandemic lockdown protocols having rendered a crash course with the manufacturer impossible. But they ended up getting their lessons online, thanks to the voices of their Tanzanian colleagues, and the drone manufacturer’s experts, whispering in their ear for the initial flight.  

Having carried out a survey recently that revealed the rise in demand for cargo drones among their members, WeRobotics decided to expand their relationship with AerialMetric – who are already the custodians of Madagascar Flying Labs – to help their brothers and sisters in the network with expertise on cargo drone technology.

“Since 2015, AerialMetric has been working hand in hand with the Government of Madagascar and large international organizations to develop and provide cargo drone solutions to deliver life-saving health supplies to the most remote, hard-to-reach communities in the country,” WeRobotics explained in their announcement. “The company’s cargo drones are deliberately designed, assembled, tested, and repaired in Madagascar to provide Malagasy engineers with new and meaningful career opportunities and contribute to Madagascar’s economic development.”

Just two months ago, the company announced that it had extended the flight range of its Savior 330 drone from 200km to 300km to improve its service to the 300 public health facilities and community supply points across the remote and mountainous Northern parts of Madagascar, which rely on its drones for medical supplies.

Said WeRobotics; “We’re very pleased to partner with AerialMetric. They are one of very, very few operational cargo drone companies actually based in the majority world. They also have more than two years of experience in routine cargo drone deliveries in challenging environments. The fact that they are based in Madagascar is also a significant advantage since half of all Flying Labs are based in Africa.

“This advantage is made clearer given the continued travel restrictions due to the pandemic. Another key advantage is that AerialMetric’s drones don’t require dedicated infrastructure like a droneport to operate. This gives them a lot of flexibility and mobility when setting up new drone routes.”

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