Hangar’s Acquisition of Autoflight — An Interview with our CEO

I wanted to take the chance to go behind the scenes with Jeff DeCoux, our CEO at Hangar. I sat down last week to ask him a few questions about Hangar’s acquisition of Autoflight Logic, which debuted in the Wall Street Journal earlier this month. As part of the larger Hangar platform, this software will help enable tens of thousands of drones to conduct autonomous work on a daily basis. These drones will be performing all types of missions across multiple industries — having a dramatic impact on the world’s productivity. We hope to help interested people worldwide understand our companies choice as we make them, and gain insight into the rapidly shifting drone market, so you’ll see a number of articles such as this diving into the what, why and how of Hangar’s decisions.

The founder of Autoflight Logic is joining the Hangar team as a co-founder. What attracted you to his vision?

I can’t speak highly enough of Jim McAndrew, the founder of Autoflight Logic, and now our CTO. He was the the first developer to publish a sophisticated software solution for DJI drones and he pushed for major upgrades in the DJI SDK that drove the ecosystem forward for all companies trying to harness the power of the largest hardware manufacturer in drones. His relentless pursuit of perfection has led his team to release update after update, squash bugs even on nights and weekends, and enable tens of thousands of the most sophisticated DJI drone users to execute hundreds of thousands of autonomous flights. Jim’s quote from our press release sums up best what his vision is for Hangar’s technology progress. “The original vision of Autoflight Logic was to make professional aerial data capture accessible to any individual or organization, regardless of training or size. Joining forces with Hangar is the perfect opportunity to fully realize this vision in a much broader context. By placing the core software from Autoflight Logic at the center of a global network of drones, Hangar is positioned to become the first robots-as-a-service platform. Need to deploy a sensor or move something around? There’s an API for that: Hangar.”

Autoflight Logic’s “Autopilot” app in use (the pilot functions as a visual observer when the app runs autonomous missions, and keeps his hands on the sticks in case he/she needs to regain control due to unforseen circumstances.

What does Autoflight Logic enable for Hangar?

The user community helped push Autoflight into creating the most advanced autonomous mobile drone control platform on the market, and now Hangar is expanding that platform and taking it to the market with new applications. Our mission when we raised funding was to “build an automated technology ecosystem for drones” and Autoflight is the perfect first kernel of the stack for us to build upon. While we often hear Autoflight referred to as an app, really the app is just the front end UI on top of a much more complex platform in the cloud, that Hangar is now working on rapidly expanding in scope and capability. Hangar software allows us to control flights around the world in real time, send very complex missions that can only be safely executed with advanced autonomy, and ingest GBs of sensor data for image processing and analytics. We’re creating and integrating technology to automate flight distribution logistics, drone data capture, cloud data processing, machine learning and AI interpretation of processed data, and data distribution. Bringing on the technology and team behind Autoflight was a great first step towards our master vision.

What are Hangar’s next steps?

We’re currently testing out new pieces of software, beta products, and models with a variety of lighthouse clients across industry in our home state of Texas. As our strategic vision is realized, many in the robotics and UAV industry will be excited to see our selection of products surpass most others in sophistication and elegant ease-of-use. We are executing a very bullish and forward-thinking approach towards drone data acquisition across industry.

An autonomous mission made with Autoflight Logic’s “Autopilot” software.

Interested in working at Hangar? Job listings are here (Austin only please). Interested in aerial data for your business? We’re always looking for lighthouse clients, and you can get more info here.

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