Startup Spotlight: Exyn Technologies’ exploratory drones

By William Smith
Philadelphia-based Exyn Technologies was founded in 2014 with the purpose of bringing to the market its autonomous, data collecting drones. The company...

Philadelphia-based Exyn Technologies was founded in 2014 with the purpose of bringing to the market its autonomous, data collecting drones.

The company was formed out of the University of Pennsylvania’s GRASP Laboratory, a robotics research program focusing on automation, sensing and perception, all focuses in Exyn’s own work.

Exyn’s Autonomous Aerial Robots (A3Rs) are intended to acquire data about difficult to access places. Example use cases include the 3D mapping of underground mines and tunnels or the examination of construction sites. They are capable of operating without the assistance of either a pilot or GPS, even without prior information about the surrounding environment. This is achieved in part thanks to an array of on-board sensors including LIDAR, cameras and inertial sensors.

Raffi Jabrayan has just been appointed Director of Markets and Industries for Exyn, tasked, the company says, with spearheading Exyn’s global expansion. An alumnus of Toronto, Canada-based global mining company Dundee Precious Metals, he has experience of technology implementation in the mining sector.

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“Like many traditional sectors, mining has not historically been quick to adopt new technologies—but I believe Exyn will change all that,” says Jabrayan. “Never before have we been able to deploy autonomous aerial robots in completely unknown underground environments, and have them come back to us with accurate, comprehensive mapping. Exyn’s robots relieve the heavy burden of countless man hours, dollars, and risk of traditional surveying while keeping human miners safer.”

Drones are guided by the company’s exynAI software, which allows for varying amounts of autonomy and pilot control dependant on the situation. Exyn announced the commercial availability of its drones in February.

The company raised $16mn in a Series A funding round back in July, taking total funds raised to over $20mn. The Series A was led by investment firm Centricus, with participation from the likes of the investment arm of Yamaha Motors.

(Image: Exyn Technologies)

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