The Drone Radio Show is a weekly show about drones and the people who use them for business, fun and research. Our guests share how they’re using drones to make a positive impact, build a business, lessons they’ve learned and insights that you can use to take YOUR interest in drones to the next level.
Dinner And A Drone (Delivery): Yariv Bash, Co-Founder and CEO Flytrex
When you’re craving dinner and in a hurry, who do you call?
Yariv Bash is the CEO and Co-founder of Flytrex, an on-demand drone delivery company . Flytrex provides a direct-to-consumer autonomous drone delivery service that lets retailers and quick-service restaurants cater to a wider customer base with faster, safer and more economical on-demand deliveries than ever before.
Flytrex is currently working with several restaurant chains and retail giant Walmart to deliver food and goods to customers’ front and backyards.
Prior to Flytrex, Yariv was Founder and CEO of SpaceIL, a $100M Israeli non-profit organization that launched Beresheet, the first private interplanetary robotic mission to the Moon in 2019.
In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Yariv talks about Flytrex, its innovative hot food drone delivery service and how drones are transforming the home food delivery industry.
Mapping Volcanos to Protect Lives: David Adjiashvili, Co-Founder Drone Harmony
Can a drone prevent the loss of life from volcanos?
David Adjiashvili is Co-Founder and Vice President of Products at Drone Harmony. Drone Harmony is a software as a service company that automates mission planning in the most challenging vertical inspection scenarios. Their software enables cost-effective deployment of drone technology in industries where existing technologies are unable to deliver. And it enables pilots with minimal training to collect high quality, reproducible data.
As a Swiss company, Drone Harmony understands that the safety of your data is essential and even deploys their system on your premises. The company was founded in 2016 by a team of problem solvers with a passion for drones, software and automation.
In addition to being one of those founders and Chief Scientist, he is also senior scientist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. His field of expertise is Algorithm Design and Mathematical Optimization, and he has been responsible for algorithmic development of the Drone Harmony Mission Planner.
David received his Bachelors degree in computer science from the Tel Aviv University and his Master’s in applied mathematics from the Weizmann Institute of Science. He completed his Ph.D. in mathematics at the ETH Zurich in 2012 specializing on algorithm design for planning and optimization problems. He has since been employed in the Mathematics Department at ETH and worked on various research and industrial projects in the field of optimization.
In 2021 Drone Harmony assisted DERYL Group KK and the Kyoto University in generating an up-to-date high-resolution 3D model of Japan’s Sakurajima volcano.
Sakurajima is one of the world’s most active volcanoes. It is located in the south of Japan, with approximately 600,000 people living within 4 kilometers. Scientists are predicting a major eruption within the next 30 years. The project team used Drone Harmony to develop the 3-D model and run various simulations for disaster prevention and response, with the goal of developing evacuation and mitigation plans for all potential disaster scenarios. Mapping a terrain is typically a straightforward process, but the Project Team quickly learned that a large geographic area, much of which is inaccessible, hostile and changing poses several challenges.
In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, David talks about Drone Harmony, the company’s 3-D mapping services and how that technology can be used to accurately map and model large vertical geographic areas.
AI & Drone Powered Facade Inspections: Johnathan Erhlich, COO at T2D2
How do you simplify material-failure detection?
If you ask today’s guest, he would say teach a computer to do it. Jonathan Ehrlich is COO of T2D2, a software-as-a-service company that that uses artificial intelligence to identify and assess damage and deterioration to buildings and structures. T2D2 applies data from more than 50 years of building inspection and forensic investigation work. The data is now available to property and portfolio owners and managers as well as municipalities to identify deterioration early and throughout the life of an asset. T2D2 makes it easier, quicker and less expensive to inspect structures by identifying damage and defects before they become major issues. Their software automatically detects visible damage in concrete, steel and masonry structures.
T2D2 was established within Thornton Tomasetti, a global design and engineering firm with more than 50 years experience in structural design. Initially part of the Core Studio incubator, T2D2 was commercialized as a separate entity through the firm’s accelerator program. Before becoming COO of T2D2, Jonathan served as the Director of Strategy, Corporate Development and Partnerships at ButterflyMX, a leader in real estate software technology. Prior, he specialized in the financing and development of mega infrastructure and real estate projects. He served as the Director of Budget and Risk Management for the $3.9B Mario M. Cuomo Bridge to replace the Tappan Zee. Prior to that he served as Special Assistant to the Chairman of the New York State Thruway Authority where he was responsible for Board oversight of the $1.5B multi-year capital program and pavement condition rating system. He holds a BA from Tufts University and an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business.
In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Johnathan talks about T2D2, the company’s AI inspection services and how that technology is simplifying the façade and infrastructure inspections.
Is This Drone An Inspection Industry Game-Changer? - Zach Adams, Co-Founder and Chief Engineer, Pitch Aeronautics
Can An Old Technology Make Industrial Drones Safer and More Effective?
Zach Adams is Co-Founder and Chief Engineer for Pitch Aeronautics, manufacturer of a unique drone for up-close, touch-based, and robotic tasks. Among the most dangerous jobs in the United States is climbing infrastructure to perform inspections and maintenance as well as performing power line maintenance. While today’s drones are good at taking video, they are not well suited to get close or actually interact with the surface of an object. Consequently, technicians are sent up on ropes, ladders, scaffolding, cranes, and sometimes even hanging from helicopters to perform this work.
Pitch Aeronautics’ Astria Drone is specifically optimized for touch based tasks. It has a unique configuration that can hold a 10 pound payload on a long horizontal arm to keep it away from the rotors and allow it to interact with a building, bridge, tower, wind turbine and powerline. It’s flown to the area using a first-person-view camera and goggles. Astria then overlays key flight and job information on the goggles so the operator can conduct the mission. .
Astria positions the payload near the target by using a cyclorotor for lateral control. Cyclorotors are unique propellers that can near instantaneously push the drone forward, backward, left, or right. This allows Astria to compensate for wind gusts and fly more precisely. It can create and change thrust 5-10x faster than traditional drones. Cyclorotors have been used on tugboats and ferries for nearly a century for the same reason.
Zach is recognized as a leading authority on cyclorotor technology. He is the named inventor on multiple cyclorotor patents and has published extensively on the topic. He holds a BS in Aeronautical Engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue.
In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Zach talks about Pitch Aeronautics, its innovative Astria drone and how the company’s patented cyclorotor technology is making dangerous jobs safer.
This is Why We Need to Study Wildfire With Drones - Dr. Mrinal Kumar, The Ohio State University
Can Drones Provide Actional Insight into How Wildfires Spread?
Dr. Mrinal Kumar is an associate professor in the department of mechanical and aerospace engineering, where he founded the Laboratory for Autonomy in Data-Driven and Complex Systems.
Under Mrinal’s direction, Researchers are using autonomous drones to help prevent and mitigate wildfires. As witnessed by the ongoing blazes across the U.S., wildfires are difficult to predict and fight. Flames can travel up to 14 mph in dry grass and spread in unexpected directions.
The Lab received a $1.4 million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation to develop an aerial robotic system. The “Integration of Autonomous UAS in Wildland Fire Management” project develops real-time situational awareness using drones to monitor the intensity and spread of wildfires. The results should help firefighting experts understand how topographic, atmospheric and forest fuel factors in temperate hardwood forests influence fire intensity and rate of spread through real-time data activation in fire behavior models.
Mrinal’s team will shadow the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ prescribed burn team into the southern state forests of Ohio, led by Greg Guess at the Division of Forestry. Prescribed burns are typically conducted late in the fall or early spring when the fuel and weather conditions are conducive to a controlled burn. The drones will undergo rigorous testing and validation, leading up to fully autonomous mission design and deployment in these prescribed burns and eventually wildfires.
Mrinal received a Ph.D. in 2009 from Texas A&M University and a Bachelor’s degree in 2004 from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, both in aerospace engineering. During 2010-16, he served as an assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at University of Florida. In 2016, Dr. Kumar's group moved to The Ohio State University.
In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Dr. Kumar talks about National Science Foundation grand and the university’s research into drones and wildfires.
Drones And Telehealth - Manish Kumar, University of Cincinnati
Do Drones Have A Place in the Health Industry?
Dr. Manish Kumar directs the Cooperative Distributed Systems Laboratory and co-directs the UAV MASTER Lab at the University of Cincinnati.
His research interests include Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, robotics, decision-making and control in complex systems, multi-sensor data fusion, swarm systems, and multiple robot coordination and control.
Manish and other university Researchers have innovated a way to integrate basic telehealth services into a drone, potentially expanding the bounds of what previous innovators ever envisioned with these two technologies individually. The research team collaborated to develop a semi-autonomous prototype that can be dispatched right to people’s homes. The drones are big enough to carry medicine or medical supplies but small enough to maneuver the tight confines of a home using navigational algorithms developed by UC engineers.” A novel aspect is that the drone will also integrate “cameras and a display screen so patients can talk to health care professionals from the comfort of their home,” in addition to carrying “a waterproof box the size of a small first-aid kit to deliver medical supplies or collect self-administered lab tests.”
Manish is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). He has served as the Chair of the Robotics Technical Committee of the ASME’s Dynamic Systems and Control Division, and as an Associate Editor of the ASME Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurements and Control.
In this episode of the Drone Radio Show Podcast, Manish talks about the University of Cincinnati’s research into drones and the innovative use of drones for telehealth.
Helpful and Inspiring
The Drone Radio Show is helping me grow my business by listening to other droneprenures. We are excited to share our conservation message and Randy sculpeted the perfect show for it! Together it takes a village to make the drone world successful. Let's integrate this technology safely, responsibly, and with reducing wildlife impacts.
I look forward to every episode of the Drone Radio Show. Randy chooses some really fascinating people to interview who show up with a wide-ranging set of skills and knowledge. From a researcher at Duke University who defines the difference between an automated drone and an autonomous drone to people who started their own businesses and shared tips and tricks, his guests will make a listener's day more interesting. Highly recommended.
The best drone podcast out there !
I listen to several drone related podcast but this one is my faviorite because its not just two guys chatting about drone news but interviews with interesting guests from all areas of the drone industry. That last one, episode 88, on how drones are used in the legal profession was just fascinating and prompted me to post this review which I had been meaning to do for a long time!.