Pyka: the Future of Electric Autonomous Airplanes

Dakin Sloss
Jan 14, 2020 · 2 min read

We are thrilled to share that we have lead the seed round for Pyka, creator of electric autonomous airplanes that are serving the agriculture industry. Pyka is the first certified electric autonomous airplane flying commercially.

Pyka’s plane is designed for aerial applications to spray crops safely, quickly and cost efficiently. Their novel aircraft, which they have scrappily delivered using relatively little prior funding has already flown thousands of paid miles and passed key regulatory approval steps. In the future, the same plane can be used for a myriad of applications across the transportation industry.

For the agriculture industry, it is a groundbreaking milestone in the management of farms. Pyka can spray 135 acres/hour at 2 gallons/acre water rates, carrying a 450 pound payload capacity, cruising at 90mph, and taking off and landing from a 150 foot space. Their technology leverages state of the art 3D aerial mapping and path planning to identify and avoid obstacles autonomously and with multiple layers of failover controls to ensure security. The plane includes many advanced systems including proprietary flight computers, battery pack designs, spray systems, and motors.

The founding team of Pyka exemplifies extraordinary collaboration and partnership. Pyka is lead by CEO, Michael Norcia, who previously designed aircraft at Zee Aerospace and Joby Aviation. Michael has that unique combination of ambition and humility that is required to create something truly world-changing. He has also surrounded himself with a phenomenal set of leaders including Nathan White, Kyle Moore and Chuma Ogunwole who bring software, finance and operations experience from Waymo, Google, Stanford, and Morgan Stanley.

It is an honor to support Michael and the team to transform one of the most important industries in the world that provides our global food supply.

Prime Movers Lab invests in breakthrough scientific startups founded by Prime Movers, the inventors who transform billions of lives. We invest in seed-stage companies reinventing energy, transportation, infrastructure, manufacturing, human augmentation and computing.

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