10 May 2021 |

Vaud-based start-up Dpendent seeks to make drones more independent

Based at the heart of the “Drone Valley”, Dpendent has just received a loan of CHF 100’000 to develop a new technology aimed at increasing the independence of drones.

Nowadays, drones are used for increasingly complex missions, requiring the tool to be as efficient as possible. Although the technology is evolving, with more precise, smaller and quieter machines, they remain largely dependent on human action.

On average, drones are only 20% independent, the remaining 80% being carried out by humans in the context of mission preparation and frequent and intensive ground handling operations.

This human intervention limits the impact of drones, which are subject to human error and also pose a risk to people working on the ground, for example during operations in natural disaster or conflict zones.

Based in Cully (canton of Vaud), Dpendent intends to solve this issue with its technology that increases the independence of drones. The start-up has developed an Unmanned Drone Ground Handling Station (Drone Port) called “D-LOG One” with a docking system compatible with most professional drones. The station can be installed on any vehicle (military car, police/fire/rescue service, unmanned car, etc.), and can also operate on its own.

Great potential for worldwide markets and a Tech Seed loan

Thanks to a robotic arm and accessories, tasks such as replacing drone batteries, changing their sensors, resupplying them, or even retrieving medical samples and filling phytosanitary products can be carried out remotely and completely autonomously. The engineering of the “D-LOG One” was carried out in collaboration with the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM) and the HEIG-VD.

Given the enormous potential of its technology, Dpendent was granted a Tech Seed loan of CHF 100’000 by the FIT, which will enable the start-up to complete the prototype of the station, hire a team, and produce a promotional video for the project.

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