Drone startup struggles to get airborne

Posted on October 31, 2023 | By Philip Moscovitch | 0 Comments


For years, Spiri Robotics has been promising an autonomous drone breakthrough. Is it finally on the verge of happening?

The first time Alex Davies met Patrick Edwards-Daugherty, he was walking down a Halifax street carrying drone parts. “I just stopped him,” Davies recalls. “I would have been about 19, and I asked, ‘Are you using 3D printing for that?’” The technology was not yet commonplace, so it caught Davies’ eye.

Today, Davies is director of systems architecture for Spiri Robotics, a company founded by Edwards-Daugherty with a lofty mission: to build drones that can run autonomously, solo or in flocks—making decisions (literally) on the fly.

Imagine a group of drones pouring out of special pods housed in the Arctic, surveying ice levels in the Northwest Passage, and deciding, on their own, how to cover the territory. Or a set of drones that drop microphones underwater to listen for whales, then uses AI to predict their movements.

These are some of the use-cases Spiri promotes on its website. But, after 10 years and millions in funding, how close is the company to making them a reality?


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