Airobotics, an Israeli startup that created the world’s first data-driven fully-automated drone, opened its new North American headquarters in Scottsdale. From there, the company can run all of its operations in North, Central and South America.
“When deciding where to launch our first U.S. office, Arizona was the top choice for us as it has a strong mining industry, great weather conditions for drone testing and potential partners we’re excited to work with,” said Ran Krauss, CEO and co-founder of Airobotics.
Airobotics, which is headquartered in Israel and also has offices in Australia, Chile and New Caledonia, plans to make the Scottsdale office its new global headquarters. BHP, the world’s largest mining company, is the company’s first U.S. customer.
“In our work to improve safety, to maintain surveillance and security on our sites and some of our larger capital projects as well, we look for ways to innovate and to improve the status of our environments for our employees,” said Belle Brown, principal technology business partner at BHP. “To that end, Airobotics has played a great role in how we go about campaigning for the future.”
BHP will use unmanned drones designed and built by Airobotics for surveying, mapping and inspections of land in hazardous and hard-to-access areas that pose a danger to employees performing manual inspections.
“The drive for digitalization is vital as companies look for ways to improve productivity and business, which can lead to higher profits that flow back to the state, as well as create new types of jobs related to aerial data, data analysis, development and remote operations,” Krauss said.
Because large mining operations involve vast outdoor areas, they have very high operational expenses, Krauss said. Being able to collect data frequently and efficiently at a low cost, giving mining operations accurate snapshots of information with which to make decisions, is a very valuable tool, he said.
“Airobotics is the first company in the world to be granted authorization to fly fully-automated, pilotless drones,” said Sandra Watson, president and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority, at an opening ceremony at the new Airobotics location in Scottsdale. “This company’s status as a tech innovation leader aligns perfectly with Arizona’s position to become the best place in the world to develop, test and scale new ideas.”
Watson praised Arizona’s pro-business policies for the success of many innovative companies in the state.
“As the world’s largest mining companies, many of which operate here in Arizona, continue to invest immense resource in finding solutions to increase safety, unmanned aircraft systems are becoming an integral tool in this transformation,” Watson said.
Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane said he believes his city is the perfect place for Airobotics, where the company will operate alongside other technology companies with similarly innovative goals.
“They’re going to be sharing a positive business environment here in Scottsdale, and frankly here in the state of Arizona,” Lane said. “So with that, and a world-class quality of life, I very much appreciate that they are here with us today.”