CEO of Aquiline Drones
Today in our UAV Interview Series, we have a lovely person who has been making headlines of late in the drone industry.
Let us introduce you Barry Alexander, Founder and CEO of Aquiline Drones, one of the fastest-growing US drone companies.
His company is only the fourth to operate under an FAA 135 Air Carrier Certificate.
He was kind enough to accept our interview request amid his busy schedule, and we did our level best to cover all drone-related questions you may have.
In this interview, we talked in-depth with Barry on how he got started in the drone industry, partnership with GuardBot, AD Cloud platform, prediction about drone automation, busting the myths of drones, and so on.
Remember, this is an exclusive interview brought to you by My Dear Drone team. So, keep reading to find out what Barry has to say!
Welcome Barry Alexander, Introduce yourself and how did you enter the drone industry?
I am a life-long pilot with a passion for everything aviation-related, from flying airplanes and helicopters to working as an aviation maintenance technician to working as a Certified Flight Instructor.
Drones are aircraft and should be operated with strict adherence to the regulations that are in place to help keep us safe.
I got involved in the drone industry primarily to make a difference based on my diverse aviation background and experience and how I thought it could be useful in pioneering a new direction for the industry.
What made you inspired about the industry to launch Aquiline Drones?
Having followed the developments in the industry from the inception, it seemed as if things had plateaued and was needing a boost to move items beyond where they had stagnated.
Additionally, having traveled the world extensively and spent a lot of time thoroughly vetting the industry, it became apparent that the US’ UAV industry was lagging the rest of the world by years and that more had to be done to be on par with drone technology around the globe.
Hence the conceptualization and deployment of Aquiline Drones and its concentration on key and viable areas where augmentation seemed necessary; large-scale manufacturing and Cloud computing technology specific to drone operations.
Tell us the story behind your collaboration with GuardBot to comprehensive planetary protection using both amphibious and airborne drones?
Our partnership with GuardBot is highly symbiotic. GuardBot is a spherical and amphibious drone that pairs nicely with our unmanned airborne units. This combination allows us to provide clients end-to-end solutions typically for the more challenging use cases.
Forest fire prevention and mitigation is a perfect example in which the airborne drones (working in concert with the GuardBot drones) provide airborne surveillance for hotspots on the forest floor, which can be verified and mitigated upon command by the GuardBot drones rolling on the ground.
There are many other scenarios in which the AD/GuardBot partnership is deemed highly beneficial. The current Coronavirus pandemic is another perfect and life-saving example of how airborne drones – paired with GuardBot’s amphibious and land-based drones can assist in providing total planetary protection.
You have talked about employing drones in the military, environmental, and even security fronts. What are a few of the benefits of it?
You are essentially keeping human operators out of harm’s way in just about every use case where drone technology is applied. In the case of airborne unmanned drones, you are essentially adding a third (airborne) dimension, namely in surveillance, which gives a tactical and strategic advantage in mission planning.
What is so unique regarding the GuardBot’s circular drones?
GuardBot is amphibious and can traverse any surface, be it land or water, without having to change its physical and external properties to adapt.
What features separate your AD Cloud with other alternatives to unmanned vehicle operations?
AD Cloud is highly modular and gives the utmost flexibility in customizing solutions for clients. In addition to the standard features, customers can pick from an a-la-carte menu of salient features not typically found in competing cloud platforms or offerings.
Also, AD Cloud is industry-specific and was designed to support the aviation and UAV/S/UTM ecosystem. The AD Cloud is unique in that it can be deployed remotely (for example, on the military battlefront) and is highly scalable with the best security features in place.
How much is meant to be one of the American drone companies amid ever-dominating Chinese drone makers? What you have to say for drone startups in US?
The future of all-American drone manufacturing and US supply chain is brighter than its ever been. There is more opportunity today than the current domestic supply can satisfy, so I strongly encourage increased participation by UAV entrepreneurs.
What does your present drone kit seem like and did you crashed one ever?
We do not have or manufacture drone kits, nor have I crashed a drone.
What are a few of the most exciting ways you have found drones getting used?
Drones for medical delivery, precision farming, aerial ranching, tunnel inspections, and the pairing of airborne drones with the GuardBot amphibious and land-based drones to provide extreme flexibility when tackling use cases that contribute to a planetary protection drone business models are just some of the many innovative ways I’ve seen drones used.
What are your opinions on the automated drones future?
Drones are essentially humanoids and are being designed to work alongside humans. In the not-so-distant future, we envisage drones essentially replacing humans mainly for mundane exercises, but also for job functions that exceed fundamental human capabilities.
Drones will also be totally autonomous requiring little or no human intervention to complete most or all tasks.
What advice will you have to others that want to deploy drones to commercial activities?
Do take the time to understand the operating environment and, as always, respect the law. Most laws governing the operation of drones are written with safety in mind. As such, strict observance of, and adherence to the law will most assuredly lead to safe operating practices.
Too numerous to mention. However, each event is different, offering new and additional insights into an ever-changing and rapidly growing industry.
What do you feel about the current drone law state?
While the current state of drone law is mostly inadequate, active steps are being taken to augment current drone law to be more consistent with the current rate of growth and expansion of the industry as well as focus on the safe operation of unmanned drones working alongside manned aircraft.
What advances in UAV technology you are excited about?
Remote ID and ADS-B are the two drone technologies I am most excited is because of the safety-enhancing elements of these technologies that have for years proved useful when used in the manned aircraft environment.
What do you believe are the biggest myths about drones?
Most misunderstandings associated with drones are as a result of inadequate information and education specific to drone technology and the impact they have on society. Drone technology can be beneficial to society and mankind, especially if operated responsibly.