Drive Specialist Switches to Drones in Strategic Move
A strategic partnership could see industry-changing avionics and propulsion system integration for software-defined drones.
Drive specialist maxon – whose precision electric motors are enabling the autonomous helicopter Ingenuity and rover Perseverance to explore Mars – announces its partnership with Auterion, the company building open-source software for drone fleets.
Forming a strategic partnership, the two companies believe customers will benefit from the “most advanced, open ecosystem of avionics and motors integration in the drone industry”, which joins Auterion’s module Skynode and maxon’s best-in-class BLDC motors.
The partners are pursuing an optimal systems interplay between maxon’s high-precision motors, electronic speed controllers (ESC) and matching propellers — connected to the Auterion platform. The joint goal is to leverage both companies’ know-how to make drone operation, development and fleet management easy for customers at reduced costs. The companies will explore long-term opportunities around propulsion systems and autopilot communication, data sharing and real-time monitoring.
“The partnership between Auterion and maxon provides access to the very best drone technology that also addresses impending federal legislation in the United States”, said Kevin Sartori, co-founder of Auterion. “We’re seeing utility companies and others that specifically require drone service providers to offer systems compliant with regulatory executive action. Ultimately, our open-source, software-defined ecosystem – built with outstanding partners like maxon – is what will instil greater trust in drone components and autonomous technologies”.
Auterion has previously developed complete drone software stacks when building its Pixhawk and shaping the PX4 autopilot software, which has become the most used open-source flight control system for autonomous aircraft in the world. Auterion’s Skynode, made in the U.S., supports different types of airframes, payloads controlled via an SDK, LTE cloud connectivity and advanced onboard computation and apps.
Eugen Elmiger, CEO of maxon Group, said, “With our motors in NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter, we flew on Mars. Now we are focusing on drones on Earth, which will play an important role in the automated future. I am very pleased that we are entering into a cooperation with Auterion, sharing our knowledge and experience so that we can better serve customers in the dynamic drone market. Their expertise in drone software coupled with our 60 years of experience as a global motor and drive specialist will generate promising solutions for the future”.
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