The pace of global drone development has increased over the last few years with smart drones being used more commonly for consumer markets, rescue operations, visual inspections and logistics. Taiwan-based startup Aiseed has combined edge computing with self-developed artificial intelligence (AI) to develop advanced drone products with better features and higher speed. With relatively low costs, the company hopes to make advanced drones more accessible across different markets.
Solving problems: Creating drone products tailored for corresponding purposes
Aiseed co-founder Monica Lee stressed that end user experience has been the company's main focus and that it would upgrade its products based on users' pain points and behavior analytics. With her own experiences in product design, she co-established the company and uses problems experienced by drone users as the driving force for its innovations.
Joe Wang, CEO and co-founder of Aiseed, has been in the drone industry for 20 years. Prior to the establishment of Aiseed, he worked as a supervisor of the technology development and design departments at Google and Motorola. Both Lee and Wang are very familiar with drone development, while other team members have deep expertise in fluid mechanics.
Aiseed chooses dual-mode vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircrafts as an entry point to the drone industry. The company has developed drones with both multi-rotor (flight time of 20-30 minutes) and fixed-wing modes by applying Bernoulli's principle and fluid mechanics applications to the aircraft design. Under the fixed-wing mode, Aiseed drones can fly at a maximum speed of 80-100 km/h over a sustained period of time with a wide area coverage.
Aiseed believes such innovations can not only fulfill the needs of its clients but also make rescue operations and visual inspections safer and more time efficient. This is also why the company designs its own hardware products.
Aiseed technology. Photo: Company
Maintaining accuracy of instant object recognition during high-speed flight
The DVA-sensor fusion data platform & edge AI-automation flight system developed by Aiseed can limit the impacts of latency on drones and prevent the captured images and videos from being leaked. It allows rescue workers to operate the drones more easily and concentrate on the missions at hand. In addition, the company's autonomous flight control system featuring one-click precision landing is also designed for drones to successfully land under extreme weathers.
Aiseed has also developed an edge AI-powered SaaS (software as a service) platform.
Redefining drone development with unique innovations and technology capabilities
Aiseed is actively looking to expand its global presence and has targeted Japan as its first market outside of Taiwan. Besides its proximity and cultural similarities to Taiwan, Japan is ideal for Aiseed's drone development because it has relatively complete drone regulations and is an aging society with increased dependence on drone deliveries, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aiseed has joined Japan's accelerator program organized by 500 Startups and is expected to begin a series of collaboration with the Japanese government and companies in 2022. It has also been selected by Garage+ as one of the few startups to attend Japan ILS Innovation Leaders Summit. In addition, Aiseed will represent Taiwan Tech Arena at CES 2022 in the US.
Lee said there is a lot of potential for drone development in the US market. Although Amazon and Google have been building their own drone products, she said that retailers like Walmart and small- and medium-sized electronics providers have begun exploring drone logistics to lower labor costs as well and that more drone companies are expected to enter the US market.
Lee said she is confident that Aiseed can produce drones that satisfy related legal requirements in the US and Japan. She pointed out that the company can easily enter volume production for its drones thanks to Taiwan's complete electronics and aerospace engineering supply chains.
Aiseed co-founders Joe Wang (front center) and Monica Lee (front right) with their team members.