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Paladin publicly launches Knighthawk, a first response drone for cities – TechCrunch

Emergency response is a time-sensitive business. In the event of a fire burning or a driver crashing a car, seconds mean the difference between saving lives and monitoring the situation to quickly go out of control. It can be difficult for fire departments and police stations to have teams on site.

Headquartered in Houston Paladin Is a start-up that builds custom drone hardware and software solutions that enable cities to respond quickly and with the right data to emergencies. After many years of development, the company has unveiled Nighthawk and Watchtower products.

Knighthawk is a custom-made drone designed for the specific needs of emergency response personnel. It comes with two cameras, one with 10x zoom optics and the other with thermals, providing the best video feed in development, day or night, with a delay of just 0.5 seconds. .. The important thing is that the drone has a 55 minute time range and you can travel a few miles away to reach the site. The startup time can be as short as a few seconds after the 911 call arrives.

The Paladin Drone Nighthawk operates during the day. Image Credit: Paladin Drones

To manage the drone and watch the video feed, the operator uses the company’s Watchtower software (Available as an app) Place a pin on the map to point the drone to a potential emergency location. Once there, the uploaded video feed will be displayed in the app and the existing computer-aided dispatch system in the 911 Center.topic It was covered quite a bit in Rapid SOSEC-1 a few weeks ago...

The Paladin Drone Watchtower allows operators to direct, manage, and watch videos from Nighthawk drones. Image credit: Paladin drone.

Publishing is a big step forward for the company. Last profiled by TechCrunch in 2019 That’s because it emerged from Y Combinator with a $ 1.3 million seed from Khosla, Correlation Ventures, Paul Buchheit and others. At that time, the focus was on building software that would integrate with off-the-shelf DJI drones. Paladin was experimenting with a beta Android app that would allow operators to place pins on the map to direct the drone to the site.

Still, the model turned out to be inadequate for the task. CEO and co-founder Divy Shrivastava said he learned that as the company developed its products, it also needed to own a hardware stack. “The drone we were using wasn’t made for automation,” he said. “We came up with a unique communication technology for drones so that we wouldn’t lose our connection.”

CEO and co-founder Divy Shrivastava. Image credit: Paladin drone.

Since its founding in 2018, it has responded to approximately 1,600 emergencies, according to internal data. The company has spent a tremendous amount of time in two departments, Memorial Village in Houston and Orange Township, Ohio, answering calls several times a day at specific times.

That limitation suggests regulation, which is one of the most difficult challenges for drone startups. The FAA has strict rules regarding the line of sight of drone operators. To realize its vision of a completely seamless and easy-to-deploy system, Paladin had to collect extensive data and present it to the FAA to obtain an operational exemption provided by the Federal Aviation Administration.Tactical first responders beyond the visual line of sight“Exception. So far, we have secured this kind of exemption in two partner cities, and we are confident that Shrivastava has developed a repeatable process in the new city where we want to buy the product.

According to Shrivastava, installation is relatively easy. The drone itself can be placed anywhere, including in the “parking lot” and is often located at police and fire departments. No special hardware, sensors or guidelines need to be installed in the city for the drone to handle the terrain and understand its surroundings. However, some software integration is required to connect the drone to the computer-aided dispatch system used by the 911 Calltaker.

With the launch and more certification points on the board, the company is focusing on increasing sales, “Our long-term goal is to reach all fire departments, police, and first response agencies. Is to be used, “says Shrivastava. The team has grown to about eight people, but the company’s other co-founder, Trevor Pennypacker, started in late 2019 and is currently working at Tesla.

Paladin publicly launches Knighthawk, a first response drone for cities – TechCrunch Source link Paladin publicly launches Knighthawk, a first response drone for cities – TechCrunch

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