Las Vegas NV: Let’s say you’re stranded on a rooftop during a flood with all communications out of commission. A drone appears with reassuring billboard-type message saying: “Help will arrive. Remain calm.”
This is the idea that Jamar Williams, founder and CEO of PromoDrone, is talking about at Commercial UAV Expo here. Previously, San Diego-based PromoDrone operated a drone-mounted marketing banner business on a third-party drone. Its new focus, which includes manufacturing a new drone and digital enclosure package, will allow for two-way communication and focus on public safety.
Williams foresees serving fire departments, federal emergency response management agencies, police departments, the Coast Guard and FEMA, among others.
PromoDrone has built a prototype and will soon announce an OEM partner to manufacture both the drone and digital enclosure, Williams said. He expects to go to market in the first quarter of 2023.
The product will include on-board cameras and AI that can be used for data-streaming. The cameras will allow for two-way communication in an emergency situation. For example, the drone may get to a victim before a first responder and be able to ask the injured person to wave their arms to help assess their condition; or it could ask them to gesture if they are in physical danger. It can also be used to mark victims’ locations. Williams foresees the possibility of integrating with emergency management systems and adding two-way audio capability in the future.
Williams expects his customers will include independent drone owner-operators who will themselves work for emergency management. PromoDrone has also recently partnered with an organization that specializes in creating opportunities for veterans in the drone space, with the objective of enabling veterans to own their own their own drone and operate in this space.