Qualcomm-backed Indian drone company ideaForge preps for US debut


Commercial UAV Expo, one of the most highly-anticipated drone trade shows of the year, opens next week in Las Vegas with more than 225 organizations showcasing their solutions to over 2,500 drone professionals from across the world. One of these organizations is India’s ideaForge, which is using the conference as the first step toward building a local presence in the North American market.

According to ideaForge cofounder and CEO Ankit Mehta, the company will display multiple drones under different product categories at Commercial UAV Expo. ideaForge drones, Mehta says, fare better than their counterparts in terms of range and flight time while maintaining safe operational distance above obstacles and terrain.

The SWITCH UAV, for example, is designed specifically for long-range, heavy duty cycle missions with options for up to 9.3 meters range, a flight time of more than 120 minutes, and a maximum launch altitude of 6,000 meters in real-world conditions. Drone solution provider RMUS already has its eyes set on this drone with the company president and cofounder J.T. Von Lunen stating:

We look forward to testing and evaluating the SWITCH UAV VTOL system for diverse applications and use cases.

Another key selling proposition for ideaForge will be its NDAA SEC 848 compliance, which will help the company to fill the vacuum of increased demand for drones made outside of China. As Mehta points out:

Our customers have flown more than 260,000 missions with ideaForge drones, with one ideaForge drone taking off every six minutes for security and mapping missions across military, government, and business uses. We are thrilled to now bring our proven technology to the US market and set shop here, and grow our support base along with our partners.

It’s worth highlighting that ideaForge’s list of backers includes prominent names such as Qualcomm, Infosys, Celesta Capital, and Florintree. They have already helped the company to expand beyond India to Oman, Nigeria, and Bhutan. The drone maker has also been working with thermal sensor specialist Teledyne FLIR since 2011.

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