Iris Automation Selected for Half of Transport Canada’s BVLOS Proof of Concept Trials

Jun 6, 2018

Iris Automation, a global leader in collision avoidance technology for drones, will enable the new era of Canadian commercial drone operations through Transport Canada’s Beyond Visual Line of Sight Proof of Concept trials, putting new Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) technology to the test. Transport Canada has announced four pilot programs to extend Beyond Visual Line of Sight operations by drones across Canada. Iris Automation’s technology will support two of these leading projects.

The first, led by Canada Post and Canadian manufacturer-operator, InDro Robotics, will push forwards a groundbreaking project to build the postal system of the future. The project will use drones enabled with Iris Automation’s technology to deliver parcels and medical supplies between the Gulf Islands of British Columbia, rural communities around Prince George BC, and among Indigenous communities in Northern Ontario.

Philip Reece, Founder of InDro Robotics, said: “This is a great opportunity for InDro Robotics to
build upon the long term relationship we have enjoyed with Iris Automation, years of
collaborating on sense and avoid technology will now be brought to bear with Canada Post on
this latest innovation opportunity with Transport Canada”.

Iris Automation’s technology will also support ING Robotic Aviation’s project to safely survey infrastructure in the Canadian Oil Sands, inspecting mining activity and the power grid, along with local wildlife monitoring and carrying out search and rescue operations.

“ING is excited to finally be able to demonstrate the power of the critical information that our
Canadian designed, built, and operated UAS can deliver in the Oil and Gas Sector through safe
BVLOS flights – in Canada!” said Ian Glenn, CEO/CTO ING Robotic Aviation Inc. “I am delighted
to integrate and fly with Iris Automation’s solution.”

Limits on BVLOS operations in Canada are due to the high risk of collision between aircraft, which is typically mitigated through “see and avoid” techniques utilized by human pilots. Without safety equipment like the Iris Automation Collision Avoidance module, which uses computer vision and artificial intelligence as substitute for a human pilot, drones run the risk of causing airborne catastrophes and loss of life.

“Restrictions on beyond visual line of sight flights have halted many of the benefits that drones
could bring to so many industries, including our postal service. I founded Iris Automation back
home in Canada, so I am especially delighted to be enabling these projects with our life-saving
technology, supporting the innovations that ING, Canada Post and InDro Robotics want to make, whilst
ensuring safety remains a top priority for the emerging UAS industry,” said Iris Automation’s
Chief Executive, Alexander Harmsen.

About Iris Automation:

Founded in Vancouver, Iris Automation is a venture-backed company developing collision avoidance technology, allowing drones to see the world like a pilot does. By unlocking safe beyond visual line of sight flights, Iris Automation technology will enable thousands of companies to increase safety and efficiency in their day-to-day work. Iris Automation’s Sense and Avoid system uses a camera, processor, and computer vision software to perceive the surroundings of the drone, enabling collision avoidance. The computer vision software classifies and tracks moving objects, and identifies their trajectory and velocity in relation to the drone it is attached to. The software then acts like a high-level supervisor to the drone’s autopilot, instructing it to execute automated avoidance maneuvers where necessary and informing the remote pilot in command of emergency situations. Iris Automation was recently selected to participate in three of the USA’s ten Integration Pilot Program projects. Iris will be enabling partners across the United States to fly Beyond Visual Line of Sight missions safely, including delivering defibrillators in Reno, Nevada, surveying crops in Kansas and enabling remote pipeline inspections in Alaska.