Multiple clients for Sunflower Lab’s security drone-dock system

security drone

San Carlos-based Sunflower Labs has announced a spate of new clients for its automated Beehive System security drone-and-dock, in deals ranging from Switzerland to the US South.

Sunflower Labs says it has secured contracts with five international clients for deployment of its security drone Beehive System. The surveillance platform is made up of an autonomous light UAV – not surprisingly called the Bee – and the Hive compact base station that houses all navigational, charging, data analysis, and storage tech. The drone-in-a-box solution provides regular, automated security tasks over a wide variety of sites, and promises state-of-the-art monitoring and protection services with minimal oversight or human input.

Sunflower said the recent series of new drone-and-dock deals include partners like US security group ADT Inc, stowage company10 Federal Self Storage, Swiss Federal Railways, and the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It also involves a deepening of its previous relationship with German company Security Robotics Development & Solutions.

The Sunflower system is built around the 1.56 kg Bee drone, which has a cruising speed of four mph, and maximum flight time of 20 minutes (five-minute safety reserve included). The UAV is designed to resist harsh flying conditions, with wind resistance of 30 mph and temperature tolerance of -10 to 40 degrees Celsius. It promises high sensitivity in low light with a 1080p sensor, and transmits 1920×1080 Full HD video back to the dock from maximum distances of 600 meters.

Once returned to the Hive, the drone fully recharges in just 15 minutes, during which the analytics tech in the dock uses machine learning and neural networks to process data collected, and transmits any necessary information to property owners or managers. 

When it’s not undertaking regularly programmed rounds, the Beehive can respond to spontaneous activity detected in any part of its surveillance area. In doing so, it immediately deploys the drone to identify whatever source has triggered the system’s alarm – a quick 30-second flight to any point on a four-acre facility, and 90 seconds on a 10-acre spread. 

The UAV autonomously plans a safe flight path around the pre-mapped property, detects and avoids all unexpected obstacles, performs a security sweep of the area, and returns to and lands in the Hive without requiring any manual intervention.

The drone unit was conceived to provide security for commercial, industrial, and residential sites, and, with the addition of the Gerald R. Ford and Swiss Federal Rail clients, has expanded its application to major public transport infrastructure facilities as well. Sunflower Labs’ work with ADT Inc. and Security Robotics, meanwhile, is an indication that even specialized security companies are turning to the Beehive drone-and-dock system to better serve their customers. 

“We are in the midst of a profound disruption of the security industry,” said Sunflower Labs chief executive Alex Pachikov. “Not only has it become impractical to provide in-person security, but it has also become very difficult to recruit personnel. As a result, we are seeing numerous inbound requests from every sector in the industry who are looking to deploy our remote autonomous security system to address these challenges.”

Aleksej Tokarev, chief executive, Security Robotics agreed, saying the Beehive automated security docked drone system is a forerunner to the ways UAV and other machine-based services will increasingly become part of everyday business and living.

“Robots and drones will integrate more and more,” Tokarev said. “We will soon treat them as we treat smartphones and cars today. They will be part of our life.”

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