R&Drone: welcome to the world of drones
Discover the collaboration of the University of Bordeaux (UBx) with the company R&Drone via an interview with its CEO and founder, Marco Calcamuggi.
What is R&Drone?
Founded in 2012, R&Drone is an engineering mechatronics consulting company located just north of Bordeaux.
R&Drone integrates business software, electronics and mechanics in order to design, develop and market robotic products. The solutions designed by the company leverage innovative technologies in the sectors of aerospace, sea and land, and are particularly suited for mapping seamounts and measuring water quality, to list just a few. These solutions are designed for both civilian and military sectors and target markets including agriculture, inspection, monitoring, assistance, communications, and environmental measurement.
What are the strengths of R&Drone?
Over the past few years, R&Drone has rapidly evolved from the status of start-up and is now an established company with not only an engineering office but also manufacturing facilities. The company thus covers the entire value chain and provides a complete offer for the creation, industrialization and maintenance of air, sea and ground drones.
The business model is based on industrial partnerships with international companies (Telespazzio, La Lyonnaise des Eaux, Dassault, Vinci/Eurovia). This way, the services we offer are industrialized and deployed throughout the entire company organization.
What is the collaboration between R&Drone and UBx?
Since the very start, R&Drone has collaborated with the University of Bordeaux. We work with the laboratory LaBRI (Bordeaux Computer Research laboratory) and the mixed research unit EPOC (Oceanic and Continental Environments and Paleo Environments) along with the Technology Transfer Center “Géo-Transfert”.
Our collaboration focuses on a project called DRONEO-FUI 16 (see image above). It concerns a sea drone that enables bathymetric, physico-chemical and hydro-sedimentary readings. Along with the deployment of the associated data processing chain, DRONEO offers a complete water management solution.
Such a shared project is extremely beneficial for all concerned. The University possesses cutting-edge skills and resources within the domain. LaBRI and EPOC/Géo-Transfert are particularly experienced in Global Positioning Systems and the post-processing of collected data. On the other hand, R&Drone supports and guides laboratory research with an approach that is pragmatic and business-oriented.
What are the plans for 2016?
In 2016, our priorities will concern further developing our current drones: Droneo, Serval* and Emerillon*. We will also focus on developing and structuring our R&D. As for our global vision, the International Chamber of Commerce and Industry has validated our international development strategy and will be supporting us as we target our first global customers – Canada and Germany!
*Serval: Unmanned ground vehicle for monitoring, inspecting and earth recognition.
*Emerillon: Unmanned aerial vehicle for long distance observation.