Aquiline Drones Acquires ElluminAI Labs to Create Deep Learning Drones and Cloud Ops
All Roads Lead to Artificial Intelligence (AI) with New Drone Industry Deal
Apple and Siri. Amazon and Alexa. Microsoft and Cortana. Aquiline Drones and Spartacus. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has gained increasing popularity across industries. Worldwide revenues for the AI market, including software, hardware, and services, are forecast to grow 40.2% annually, topping $997.77 billion by the end of 2028, according to a latest report by Grand View Research, an international consulting firm that helps Fortune 500 companies understand the global and regional business environment. (Artificial Intelligence Market Size Analysis Report, 2021-2028 (grandviewresearch.com)
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Earlier, Connecticut-based Aquiline Drones Corporation (AD) announced the acquisition of ElluminAI Labs, LLC to support further development of its AI framework called Spartacus. This is AD’s second strategic acquisition in the company’s pre-IPO plan. It was just last month that AD completed the purchase of 50% of Netherlands-based AerialTronics, a renowned drone manufacturer, for $9.0M USD from Paris-based Drone Volt (ALDRV). This was principally to bolster AD’s in-house R&D capabilities. Drone Volt is a publicly traded French drone manufacturer and leader in AI technology with which AD has a strong, equity-based partnership.
This AI acquisition enables AD to deliver superior deep learning AI frameworks throughout its entire drone technology ecosystem which includes drone pilot training, drone manufacturing, commercial drone operations and cloud solutions on a global scale.
AD’s Spartacus AI is modular, with different sets of services and proficiencies. It can learn specialized skills on a case-by-case basis, while offering broad integration ability across various environments. The AI will deliver key capabilities across AD’s continuum of drone and cloud-based services, including:
- A cognitive assistant for the online ground training experience. The Spartacus deep learning assistant is being integrated into all Flight-to-the-Future programs where it will answer questions and intervene with precise suggestions based on how students interact with the course curriculum. Flight to the Future is AD’s nationally acclaimed and complete drone pilot training program currently being attended by police officers, firefighters and other first responders nationwide.
- Spartacus contains a ‘Natural Language Processing’ (NLP) engine that enables voice recognition and voice command and acts as an AI assistant across AD’s drone technology ecosystem.
- Spartacus is equipped with Machine Vision (MV) skills to analyze drone data in real-time. The data analysis is highly specialized by use case and the Spartacus AI can master each application. For example, AD is currently working with a prominent commercial orchard to release specialized AI packages for data analysis which include applications as diverse as fruit counting, fruit analysis, etc. Other AI applications include the deciphering of thermal images from firefighting drones – a specialized AI application currently being taught via AD’s Flight to the Future program with immediate real-world applications thereafter!
- Spartacus plays a crucial role in AD’s industry-leading robotic solutions for inspection, public safety and future UAV delivery services. For example, it will be part of AD’s Command and Control (AD C2) framework, optimizing flight planning and execution. It is also used for dynamic scheduling and flight dispatching of fully autonomous solutions.
- Most significantly, the Deep Learning framework behind Spartacus allows for Big Data analysis. As experience is gained, Spartacus has the potential to master multiple knowledge spheres, discerning hidden patterns within the aggregated data. This has significant implications for future machine operations and positions the AD Cloud as an industry transformer for commercial drone operations.
“It is a true pleasure and exciting time to join Aquiline Drones; one of the most innovative and cutting-edge companies on our planet,” said Dr. Scott Martin, co-founder of ElluminAI Labs and professor at George Mason University. “Joining AD to build the next-gen AI solutions together to advance the global drone, aviation and training markets is indeed transformative, and we can’t wait to help launch tomorrow’s groundbreaking AI driven societies.”
“Our acquisition of ElluminAI will produce a powerful system that delivers a modular, deep learning cognitive framework, capable of flight optimization, training assistance and data analysis for the most sophisticated business processes involving commercial drones to essentially improve a company’s profitability. This is not only ground-breaking technology, but sky-breaking technology as well!” said Barry Alexander, founder and chairman of Aquiline Drones. “What’s more is the superior and scientific architecture that ElluminAI brings to the table that will monitor and manage the AD ecosystem more accurately, skillfully and successfully.”
Alexander notes that a main difference between Spartacus and other digital agents is its advanced architecture, based on artificial neural networks, which provide the ability to get smarter and more efficient over time, especially with increasing amounts of data.
“Unlike traditional machine learning, Spartacus’ deep learning doesn’t reach a point of diminishing returns as data gets more complex,” adds Alexander. “In fact, Spartacus becomes smarter with experience as individual skills are created for different use cases and conditions. This is precisely what is needed to handle real-world conditions.”
Spartacus is a complete AI framework. Although initially focused on drone data analysis, drone operations, flight management and the like, it has wider applications beyond drones.
As a powerful AI framework that is easy to integrate across environments, Spartacus can seamlessly and simultaneously traverse activities at work and in the home; especially while traveling. Such activities include managing home security, energy usage, vehicle maintenance, personal schedules, and other connected devices, while offering options for anticipated activities based on ‘habit recognition’.
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Similarly, Spartacus can be enhanced for different IoT (Internet of Things) settings, such as factory management, logistics, construction site surveillance, precision farming, facility management and maintenance advisor – to name a few. Each role requires building the right set of skills beforehand. With both drones and IoT devices becoming increasingly popular in such environments, Spartacus brings capabilities to the table that just cannot be ignored.
Alexander highlights the role of Spartacus in the handling of UAV traffic across the National Airspace System (NAS) through AD’s Command and Control (C2) capability on the AD Cloud. Here, Spartacus gathers data from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other official sources, combines it with weather and additional external information, to provide crucial, real-time notifications and advisories to operation planners and drone pilots before and during the mission.
This full life-cycle support includes a comprehensive set of functions that optimize flight safety and provide skills beyond standard UAV requirements. The result is the delivery of real-time data insights from AD Cloud connected drones to AD C2, so business owners, UAV operators and operation planners have greater control of their activities.
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In fact, Forbes recently featured AD in its coverage of AI:
What’s next for this comprehensive cognitive digital agent? Alexander shares that Spartacus will be used as the primary interface for AD’s innovative, drone-on-demand service, which will allow customers to pre-order drone services via a mobile app installed on smart phones and other hand-held devices later this year. Special features of the new technology will include Interactive Voice Command (IVC).
“From intuitive instructor and mission guide to personal assistant and business coach, Spartacus is the perfect amalgamation of both AD and ElluminAI Labs, offering maximum versatility, reliability, innovation and safety for all UAV solutions,” concludes Alexander. “We are now poised to usher in paradigm-shifting and disruptive technology by providing a full lifecycle approach to all drone industry missions capable of helping businesses and individuals around the world.”
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