(The Bridge) – The drone business has been becoming the hot topic for a while in Japan as to how we can take advantages of drones or its regulator frameworks have been discussed. Some companies including DJI are attempting to provide a platform such as standardizing an airframe or creating an operating system (OS). How companies get aboard the drone field varies; they can be an airframe manufacturer or the can create a platform for unifying airframe mechanisms.
A Japanese startup is now stepping into the drone business. Tokyo-based Clue announced the launch of a data management service for drones called DroneCloud in November. The service aims to be a platform managing various data around drones, such as recording who operates which drone, managing projects and team members operating drones, as well as managing and sharing flight data and logs.
In the platform, the project management menu allows users to create a project according to their task, assign members in charge, and select which drone to use. The data management menu can store photos and videos taken from drones, as well as manage flight plans and other project related documents. The flight logging menu enables recording where and when drones were operated as well as weather conditions when operated while the individual management menu manages model specs of drones used, total flying hours, and the status quo of periodical inspections by technicians, as well as logs repairing parts and maintenance status. The service is available for a monthly fee of 9,800 yen (about $80) on a subscription basis.
Above: DroneCloud’s dashboard
Image Credit: The Bridge
Ryosuke Abe, CEO and founder of Clue explains:
DroneCloud is a cloud service for companies using drones on their business. There are few peripheral services supporting their efficient drone operations such as managing drones and acquired data. We can support their safe and efficient operations by offering a service allowing them to manage various data in an integrated way. Since business use of drones are more advanced in the us and european countries, we will be forced to target the global market. That’s why we are offering the service in english as well as in Japanese.
He launched an online media called Drone Borg. He could finally find a business model using drones while writing about drone startups and their use cases from the world.
Abe is a serial entrepreneur, having launched a fashion sharing business for accessories called Loving’Box. Though the service had been seeing a steady growth, he transferred it to AirCloset, an online fashion rental service in Japan, aiming to build a scalable business from scratch. Abe was majoring in aerospace engineering at his university, weighing heavily on the decision to choose the drone business leveraging his background.
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According to Abe, DroneCloud aims to be a platform for data processing solutions in the cloud, acquiring flight data by integrating via API (application program interface) or SDK (software development kit) for drones from different manufacturers. As the Aviation Law has been amended in Japan, when a company wants to use a drone on business, they must check flight restricted areas, apply for a flying permit, and register the model of a drone to use. Clue will be more focused on help users process this work flow, aiming to support overall operations of drones for businesses.
Abe explained how they will proceed from here:
In addition to DroneCloud, we are looking at creating a whole ‘operating system’ for business-use drones. It is only airware currently running the business, but there is no outstanding startup in this sector. While the hardware business of drones will be commoditized in the future, I think the operating system software and the cloud will be keys in securing our competitive advantage. We intend to make DroneCloud a must-have cloud service for drone businesses, providing an os control board that will enable seamless data integration with the cloud platform.
Translated by Moto Tsujino via Mother First