A start-up in Melbourne is seeking to connect commercial unmanned air vehicle operators with those requiring aerial services and simplify the use of these systems for an increasing number of applications.
Ollie Roberts, director of ArcadiaSky, says his company will take “the pain out of finding a commercial operator” after identifying a 1,000% increase in the number of licenced commercial UAV operators over the past six months. “We wanted to provide a simple and clear marketplace for customers to hire drone services so that anyone can safely benefit from the positives of the technology,” he says.
Initial interest has been for aerial photography and filming applications, but ArcadiaSky is now seeing customers wanting to use UAVs for surveying and inspection.
The company launched in Australia two months ago, and “exponential growth” has seen it expand to the USA and the UK, Roberts says.
“Potential customers see the news items on UAVs delivering efficiency savings, or examples where their competitors have used the technology to gain an edge – it’s this awareness that drives demand,” he says.
Potential customers also see the negative press associated with irresponsible use, he says, and want to be assured that the UAVs they employ will be legally compliant and pose no risk.
“Improved regulation will permit more opportunity to demonstrate positive applications of the technology, which will result in greater awareness and uptake from the wider community,” Roberts says. “It’s our job as an industry to help promote this positive awareness and at the same time ensure customers are put in contact with qualified professional operators who will deliver a polished product safely.”
An aerial shot taken from a UAV by an operator using ArcadiaSky's services
The company has initially focused on directly connecting operators with customers, but is now also looking to support authorities and other bodies.
“The more joined up we are as an industry, the more sustainable and successful it will be in the long run,” Roberts says.
“Insurance is [also] an area I am keen to look into," he adds. "We have a vision to build ArcadiaSky into a full service offering for commercial UAV operators, and insurance would make up part of the ecosystem.”