Kraus Hamdani Aerospace develops autonomous persistent fixed-wing Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) and the Brooklyn-based startup is disrupting the industry. They have built the world’s first fully electric, zero-emissions persistent UAS with the longest airborne endurance in its category in the industry. Just recently, Kraus Hamdani Aerospace took a massive leap forward with a record-setting 12-hour flight at the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground.
We sat down with Kraus Hamdani Aerospace CEO & Co-founder Fatema Hamdani as she tells us about the company, problems they are solving, and how they are doing it. Under her leadership, Kraus Hamdani Aerospace is reinventing Smart-Persistent, ultra-long endurance drones using artificial intelligence, machine learning technology, and biomimicry. Watch the interview or read her comments below!
Tell us about how you got started in this space?
Well, my business partner and I both are fairly entrepreneurial and we’ve always prided ourselves on sitting on the crux of solving business problems with technology.
While we’re all hardcore technologists, the “so what” of technology has always taken front and center in every industry that we’ve worked and it’s a big part of why we are where we are.
I come from a digital transformation big data intelligence space. I’ve helped some of the largest financial services organizations and other verticals with their mobile-first digital transformation and how intelligence can actually help solve massive business problems. So when Stefan and I met- my business partner and I met almost four and a half years ago, we were doing a joint venture with his then Fintech startup and even our one-hour meeting turned into a six-hour meeting where he was like, I’ve been looking at unmanned aerial systems, that particular space is really, really set for disruption, we should look at it together. And then when we started evaluating the issues that exist in the current environment, it was very obvious. We come from a software as a service background, we come from how, when technology has evolved.
So what Salesforce did to the IBMs and the Oracles of the world, we knew that this particular space was set up perfectly for that kind of disruption and technology innovation was begging for it.
And that’s what got us on our journey so to speak, to bring aerial intelligence to masses and solve some massive issues that lie in defense, in commercial space, and in the impact space of solving some massive world problems.
What problem is Kraus Hamdani solving?
So when we started looking at the unmanned area of system space, there were four massive issues that kind of sprung up at us.
One is how far the unmanned aerial system can travel from the operator. And when I’m saying unmanned aerial systems, I’m referring to fixed-wing UAVs. So a fixed-wing unmanned aerial system, how far the UAV can travel, an unmanned aerial vehicle, can travel from the operator?
The other is how long can it stay up in terms of endurance? Because that determines how much area it’s covering and for how long it can cover that area.
The third piece is how easy it is to integrate things into the unmanned aerial vehicular system both on the platform as well as how easy it is to integrate the UAV back into other assets that are deployed. So both machine-to-machine teaming, human-to-machine teaming, and concepts like open architecture that essentially facilitate integration rapidly.
And then finally, how easy is it to operationalize these platforms. So by that we mean how many people do you need to truly run the program and collect that data and intelligence. And we sit in the area of intelligence space by building the longest endurance unmanned aerial systems in the world. What we’re doing is solving for the collection of aerial intelligence to solve business problems and shrink that gap between data or aerial intelligence and decision making.
So I know that was a mouthful, but essentially that is what we are solving for. Those are the kind of problems and issues and different market segments that we can address with technology as well as our solutions.
What are some of the innovative things that you guys are coming up with in the future that we should be looking out for?
When we solve for persistence and long endurance, we’re looking to solve for exponential components around that. So it’s not just a few incremental hours of flight time that we’re talking about. We’re talking about technology that can fly for days and months.
And the ability to do on-board edge processing. The ability to support, we have open architecture, so when we want to plug in sensors and payloads why are we flying these robots, to collect aerial intelligence. That means there are different types of sensors, payloads that we can carry and do plug and play that allow us to capture this area of intelligence and then do onboard processing and analytics to actually provide the right kind of actionable intelligence and shrink that gap again that I mentioned earlier.
In addition, with this capability, it’s extremely modular and flexible. So we’re growing them in size both from payload capability as well as the ability to fly on higher altitudes. And we do a lot of biomimicry, which is how we emulate what nature has solved for over thousands of years. So when we do long distance flights, we emulate how birds fly long distance. So they’re not constantly flapping their wings when they’re flying, they’re utilizing environmental conditions for flight.
It was great speaking with Fatema. She mentioned the word game changer and we definitely think they are changing the game in the UAS industry! Be sure to learn more about this innovative company by checking out their complete GovShop profile.