At Xponential 2022, one of our Engineering Managers, Claudio Micheli, sat down with Max Tubman, CTO of Alta X at Freefly Systems. They discussed Freefly and Auterion’s partnership, the Astro drone, and how important open standards are to enable interoperability among drone partners and competitors.
How Auterion Enables Freefly
Freefly began their journey in 2011, creating a heavy-lift drone for cinematographers and went on to become a leading drone manufacturer. In 2020, they teamed up with Auterion to release the Astro Enterprise Drone Solution.
“Our partnership with Auterion allows us to grow our software team exponentially,” said Max Tubman, Freefly Systems.
The partnership combined our respective expertise in hardware and software to deliver the Astro – the best multi-use enterprise drone for utility, telco, and infrastructure companies, as well as drone service providers and first responders.
“It’s cool to work with the Auterion team, they’re awesome. And Auterion as a whole is great because it allows us at Freefly to focus on what we’re good at,” said Max. “We have software developers and engineers but get Auterion’s additional horsepower behind our product to make the mapping package and the interface that much better. Our partnership with Auterion allows us to grow our software team exponentially.”
Working within the Ecosystem
In conjunction with Freefly, the Dronecode Foundation, and other ecosystem partners we developed the Pixhawk Payload Bus Standard, which enables operators to integrate whatever payload they want. At Xponential, Max brought an Astro to the interview. The drone had a Smart Dovetail and a Sony camera attached, both working together seamlessly thanks to the use of open standards.
The industry is evolving—and by making everything open it strengthens every member of the community. It’s been interesting to attend events like Xponential because that’s when you see how much the industry has changed in only a year. At first, it was all about the performance of the drone itself, but now, it’s about interoperability and data workflows.
“Another thing that I got to give Auterion credit for is bringing everyone together,” said Max. “We have all these different manufacturers who are our competitors and our friends, and now that we’re all able to adopt the same standards, it means that all our various parts will work across platforms.”
Auterion Suite for Freefly Customers
Freefly Systems offers two lines of drones: Astro and Alta.
Astro is a ruggedized drone enabling enterprise workflows through standardized user interfaces, automated data transmission, and real-time connectivity. It provides enterprise and government customers with a highly-capable workhorse drone for mapping, inspection, and first responders to capture media, automate processes, and streamline data flows through Auterion’s enterprise-ready software platform.
Alta X is an industrial drone built to carry just about anything with our integrated quick-release system on top and bottom of the aircraft. Alta X is agile and its controls are precise.
“Auterion Suite is perfect for fleet management,” said Max. “Freefly is excited about all that, especially as end users are transitioning to fleets of Astros and Alta Xs. For them to be able to keep track of all their different flight logs and manage their fleet in one place is awesome, but also necessary for future growth.”