3UG has developed software that allows drones to fly autonomously. Currently, most drones can only be flown within line-of-sight and are controlled by a live operator on the ground. If drones are going to realise their potential to take over complex logistic or transport operations, they need to be able to fly long distances without a pilot.
3UG provides dynamic risk intelligence, which gives drones live situational awareness of the sky around them. This means that a drone can chart its own flight path and understand the most direct path for reaching a destination. It enables drones to dynamically update their flight path mid journey to avoid other aerial objects and to stop themselves from colliding into buildings. There are immediate use cases in healthcare and security, as well as in traditional aircraft. And with regulatory change and hardware advancement, 3UG’s system would allow companies to have fleets of drones operating autonomously.
Autonomous flight is an emerging field and the three founders have been on the cutting edge of research in the space. David (the CEO) is an associate professor of Aerospace Engineering at Bath, and Pejman and Jon are both associate professors of Flight Dynamics and Autonomy. They have been developing this technology through their academic work and are transitioning to full time roles in the business with this funding round. They are joined by Anthony Lawrenson, as the commercial lead, who has had a 23-year career as a commercial pilot and spent 12 years with the RAF.