Startup profile: DroneX – developing custom-made Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Bristol-based startup provides bespoke drones for video production companies, universities and architects
21st August 2015

DroneX is a Bristol-based startup based at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory’s Technology Business Incubator that develops, build and operate drones and other Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for commercial and scientific use. The company can offer its customers ready-made drones but it also offers unique bespoke UAVs tailored for the specific needs of the job they will be needed for. DroneX will also provide training and related technologies and technical support to get you soaring above your competition and then keep you there!

dronex-drone-flyingWe caught up with DroneX’s Marketing Executive Anna Babarczi to find out more about what it’s like to be immersed in the newly emerging field of UAVs, how they got started and the different uses the UAVs are already being put to.

“DroneX listens to customer needs and suggests suitable tailor-made solutions, builds the machine, configures it and tests it thoroughly”

 

DroneX is one year old, and as Anna explains, “We were always passionate about technology and robotics. Before starting DroneX we worked on various commercial and government projects. We built different types of robots, including rovers, legged, flying, swimming, underwater etc. When the drone industry started to emerge it presented a perfect opportunity for us to start our own business and use our technical expertise in this area. We want to help adapt new technology for wide public use in a safe and fun way.”

dronex-night-flying

Night flyer: DroneX putting one of its drones through its paces at dusk

“Basically,” says Anna, “DroneX listens to customer needs and suggests suitable tailor-made solutions, builds the machine, configures it and tests it thoroughly. The customer walks away with 100% working machine they can trust. Currently we are supplying UAVs to commercial operators, including video production companies, universities, architects and others. We are also developing a new innovative product to shake up the surveying market.”

Drones made on the fly

Because each drone DroneX makes is often needed for a different task, each UAV provides a new challenge: “Every drone we build is unique and tailored for a job and a customer,” explains Anna. “Our most recent drone is a surveying aircraft that achieved longer flight time with a better, heavier camera at a lower cost than comparable off-the-shelf UAV.”

So can people get involved with any DroneX projects? “Yes, of course they can. We work closely with customers and the local community. As we build custom UAV the customer is very involved from the beginning and stays involved throughout the whole design, build and testing process. We also get interest from tech-oriented students and are open for working together.”

dronex team

 The DroneX team: Anna, Sebastian ,
Bart and Marcin at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory

With DroneX now making a name for itself in the UAV world, we asked Anna what they would have done differently if they knew what they know now when starting up. Her advice is: “We would have contacted potential customers earlier and put much more effort into marketing and social media at the start.”

“Being based in Bristol has definitely helped us move our business forward and it’s great being located amongst other talented entrepreneurs”

 

 

dronex-drone-The company is based at the tech incubator the Bristol Robotics Laboratory as Anna explains: “The Bristol Robotics Laboratory, kindly licensed us space in their Technology Business Incubator as part of their ongoing support for high tech startups. Bristol Robotics Laboratory is one of the largest robotics research institutes in Europe. It provides physical space and facilities for high tech start-up companies alongside a package of targeted professional support, which includes mentoring, technical guidance, and access to industry specialists and investors.”

So are there any advantages to DroneX being based in Bristol? Anna thinks so: “Bristol has a big reputation in the technology industry, often called The Silicon Gorge, referring to the numerous high-tech and research establishments. Being based in Bristol has definitely helped us move our business forward and it’s great being located amongst other talented entrepreneurs.”

We’d like to thank Anna for taking the time to talk to us. You can see more info on the company and what they are doing at the DroneX website. You can also follow DroneX on Twitter, for news on the latest forays it is making into UAV space: @DroneX_UAV. And while you are there, why not follow us too! @TechSPARKuk

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