Canada’s Indro Robotics, a leader in drone and ground UAV research and user training, says it is teaming up with next-generation vehicle trial center Area X.O to offer new test facilities for uncrewed tech, featuring a range of exacting courses particularly useful to police and other first-responder aerial units.
Indro says the drone and robotic testing, training, and demonstration site added to Area X.O’s existing structures is the first in Canada to integrate National Institute of Standards and Technology criteria into its operations. Instruction will range from basic and intermediate levels to the highest skills required of emergency response and other public service pilots. The innovative center will combine Indro’s experience in that activity with the new, challenging aerial parcourses the added Area X.O zone features.
The groundbreaking addition to Area X.O’s Ottawa testing facilities was made possible in part by government funding provided through the FedDev Ontario investment structure. In addition to using Indro’s history in training drone operators of all skill levels within the challenging settings of the new Area X.O center, the compound will also be available as a development resource for innovative UAV companies on a year-round basis.
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Indro habitually relies on in-person drone training at its facilities or those of clients, as well as through its online FLYY portal overseen by longtime UAV instructor Kate Klassen. But Klassen says the kinds of challenges, experiences, and insights clients will get at the new center will be something else altogether.
“Online instruction is a tremendous tool,” says Klassen. “But there’s something to be said for in-person, hands-on training once you’re talking about highly specialized skills.”
Operators of ground UAVs will also be put through a full range of motions using a wide variety of terrain, surfaces, inclines, and even water. Indrone adds the Area X.O annex also features a broad array of use case scenarios in which the use of various sensors can be demonstrated, tested, and eventually mastered.
“There really isn’t any other facility of this type in Canada,” says Indro CEO Philip Reece. “Flying drones professionally, and operating robots, is a skill. We look forward to offering our services at this facility to first responders and professional operators from across Canada on a year-round basis. Whether it’s drones or robots, we anticipate this will become the go-to site for elevating skills and testing product capabilities in a controlled environment.”