Mérignac (33), January 19, 2021 – The aeronautical industry has taken a direct hit from the covid-19 crisis: According to Five Aero, more than 100,000 job losses have been announced by manufacturers in the world since March 2020. Despite that, one industry sector is still on course: drones, and more especially, autonomous drones. Focus on Azur Drones, a French Tech nugget that is weathering the crisis by taking part in robotising industry.
An increase in demand for autonomous drones
Apart from the agri-food industries, no other sectors have yet returned to their pre-crisis and pre-lockdown levels. The economic crisis has increased pressure on industrials to reduce their indirect costs. An increasing number of players are turning to automation, which can guarantee continued industrial activity while reducing operating costs.
“The covid-19 crisis is speeding up the robotic transition in our industry. In the surveillance and inspection fields, autonomous robots complete human systems to make them more effective. Since the beginning of the crisis, we have been experiencing a significant growth in demand for our Skeyetech autonomous surveillance drone.” explains Jean-Marc Crépin, the Azur Drones CEO.
A mature technology
After four years of development, autonomous UAV technology is now fully mature and time-tested.
Azur Drones has already trained more than 150 officers in the use of the Skeyetech system. They use their surveillance UAVs on a daily basis to carry out perimeter patrols, specific checks or inspection missions.
At the end of 2020, the Skeyetech system developed by Azur Drones has passed the 10,000 autonomous flights milestone.
A company anchored in its territory
Azur Drones employs about sixty people, mainly at the Bordeaux-Mérignac headquarters where the Skeyetech solution is developed and produced. Despite the pandemic, in 2020, the company hired fifteen people with ten more job vacancies remaining to be filled to complete the Research and Development, Production and Operations departments.
A French SME conquering the world
Today, Azur Drones aims to become the global leader in autonomous drones. To accelerate its international growth, the company has just appointed Hughes d’Alès as the Deputy managing director for Sales & Strategy.
In the short term, Azur Drones is targeting Europe and the Middle East. The new European drone regulations should simplify the installation of Skeyetech systems in all European Union countries from the beginning of 2021. For the Middle East, the company has just taken part in the prestigious GITEX trade show, the new technology trade show in Dubai, thereby confirming the interest of regional industrials for autonomous drones. Several deployments are scheduled in these zones in 2021, in particular in the Energy, Port, Defence and Smart City sectors.