Inside Unmanned Systems

APR-MAY 2017

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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28 unmanned systems inside   April/May 2017 SPECIAL REPORT INDUSTRY TRENDS "Europe is now tightening regulations in or- der to avoid abuses," Baudet said, "while the U.S. is in a process of simplification of proce- dures for f lying a UAV in the course of a com- mercial activity and the reduction of waiting times for receiving the corresponding f light authorizations. The U.S. market regulation makes it easier for professionals to f ly." Baudet said he believes global international regulations will ultimately fall into line, sim- plifying the sale of civil professional drones and drone services everywhere. But until that day comes, negotiating the ins and outs of lo- calized regulations will continue to be a neces- sity for companies like Heliceo. to more easily access growing Latin American and Asian markets. With its strong French roots, Baudet said, Heliceo will maintain its office in Nantes as a European business headquarters, training and knowledge center. "Ultimately our presence in the U.S. will become our main activity with bigger offices and warehouses," Baudet said. And, he added, the company has already identified several potential allies in the U.S., including Trimble, Pix4D or even ESRI. "We are in contact with numerous American pure market players but it is too soon to talk about partnerships now," Baudet said. European Know-How Heliceo believes its substantial experience in continental Europe will put it a step ahead of competition in the U.S., particularly in the areas of topographical survey and mapping, but the potential applications for its innova- tive modular approach in a field that is still in its infancy would seem limited only by one's imagination. In a recent project, Heliceo's drone-based photogrammetry helped fellow French compa- ny SELARL HOUDRY carry out the full 3-D mapping of the spectacular Gothic Basilica of Notre-Dame de Liesse, built in the 13th and 14th centuries. Led by Benoit Houdry, SELARL HOUDRY is a Soissons-based surveying and geomat- ics company. "I chose Heliceo because they develop drones especially dedicated to my activities, which require rigor and precision," Houdry said. "These aren't just audiovisual drones that have been modified or adapted to photogrammetry. The f light qualities are right and the installed equipment gives us the right level of resolution." Houdry said he first came across Heliceo at a surveyors congress in 2014 in Montpellier. Further contacts followed and by 2016 they were working together on the Liesse Basilica project. " THE COMPANY IS READY TO PUT SEVERAL MILLION DOLLARS INTO THE BUILDING OF ASSEMBLY PLANTS ON AMERICAN SOIL, AND WE WILL RECRUIT TECHNICIANS AND ENGINEERS, SALESPEOPLE, GIS SPECIALISTS AND TRAINERS." Jean-François Baudet, CEO, Heliceo Serious Business Baudet said moving into the U.S. market was a strategic decision for his company. "We thought about it for a long time, but timing is the key, so we had to look carefully at the mar- ket. We attended all the right trade shows, we met FA A representatives and business part- ners. Heliceo Inc. [in San Francisco] will soon become our biggest office and we plan to hire more than 100 people over the coming years. "We really want to build our production workshops on U.S. soil," Baudet said, "in order to be more reactive and adapt our technology to American surveyors and topographers." But having an office in the U.S. is also very important to the company in terms of its wider international development goals, allowing it

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