Swiss drone manufacturer Flyability today announced it is expanding into the U.S. with the opening of its first U.S. office in Denver. The new office will allow the company to better support customers of its Elios 2 drones for indoor industrial inspections, the company said.
Denver was chosen as the company’s first U.S. office because of its central location in North America, its large airport, as well as a thriving technology-focused community, Flyability said in a statement. The office “will allow the company to provide timely, more localized support to U.S. customers and partners, as well as continue to strengthen and develop strategic partnerships throughout the country and surrounding areas,” the company added.
Alexandre Meldem, the vice president of sales for Flyability, has spent the last year and a half growing the company’s presence in North America from the company’s Switzerland headquarters, and will help open the new office in Denver. “Being in the same time zone as our clients and partners will have a profound effect on the way we can support and advise them in the use of our technology,” said Meldem. “We will be quicker to react to their needs and to provide onsite support as needed.”
The company’s aerial drones are specifically designed to fly in confined spaces to handle infrastructure, power generation, and public safety inspection scenarios. In April 2019, the company launched its Elios 2 series, with improved flight operation and data collection capabilities. Flyablity’s first Elios drones were launched in 2016, and the company has raised more than $17 million in funding, the latest an $11 million Series B round in 2018.
Industries currently using or testing Flyability drones include oil & gas, power generation, mining, and waste management, among others, the company said. Over the next few months, Flyability said it plans to be hiring locally in Denver to strengthen its North American team.
“This is a very meaningful step for our company and for our clients,” said Patrick Thevoz, the co-founder and CEO of Flyability. “We are excited to have sales and support staff on the ground in what is already our fastest growing market.”
The company is also participating on the CERBERUS (CollaborativE walking & flying RoBots for autonomous ExploRation in Underground Settings) team in the DARPA Subterranean Challenge. In the first round of the challenge, the tunnel circuit, CERBERUS scored five points, ranking sixth out of the 11 teams competing. The next phase of the challenge, the Urban Circuit, will take place Feb. 18-27, at Satsop Business Park west of Olympia, Wash. The third phase will challenge teams in a cave environment, with the final event to be held in August 2021.