Hextronics Drone Nest "Operations such as inspection and surveillance become easier, faster, and more accurate"
Saudi Arabia is the fifth-largest country in Asia, the second-largest in the Arab world, and the largest in Western Asia and the Middle East. Firnas Aero, a multi-segment drone company in Saudi Arabia, uses Hextronics Drone Nest solutions for fully autonomous operations in the harshest environments.
About Firnas Aero
Firnas Aero is a multi-segment drone company that offer multiple services and operations ranging from surveillance, monitoring, inspection, detection and geo-locating. Firnas Aero’s focus is building integrated systems of drones, docking stations, and AI to address certain challenges for different sectors in the MENA region. Every project involves 95% of the same hardware and software for all clients while 5% difference is factored in the AI models specifically designed to each case. This is determined by the scope of the client’s requirements. As a startup , Firnas Aero’s operational goals include improving efficiency of the work, continuous operation, integrate with real time computer vision AI and to have a system that is suitable for the harsh climate in Saudi Arabia
Hextronics & Firnas Aero
"The partnership between Hextronics and Firnas Aero has contributed to the success of the start-up in Saudi Arabia and opened the door for many projects. Having a fully autonomous solution had a big impact on the results delivered by Firnas Aero in the different projects"
- Firnas Aero
Benefits of the partnership
"Firnas Aero is able to cover the requirements of the projects effortlessly."
- Firnas Aero
"Having a fully autonomous operating solution that can function in harsh environments such as Saudi Arabia allows for wider ranges of services to take place. It allows Firnas team to take on larger clients with long-term projects mainly with different municipalities covering the large areas."
- Firnas Aero
Enhancing Project Success
"By planning out where the boxes need to be according to the fly zones, and considering the preventive maintenance that needs to be done every few weeks, projects are able to be more successful and completed with high accuracy and better results"
- Firnas Aero
The Red Sea Development Company - High Resolution Maps
Before starting the partnership with Hextronics, Firnas Aero was completing projects with the use of drone technologies by sending the operation team and manually flying the drones.
One of the most successful projects was with the Red Sea Development Company where the scope of work included an environmental assessment to see the impact that construction will cause on the environment, as well as waste accumulated over the decades on the islands. Firnas Aero’s operation team would travel out to the sites, scan and photograph the fields, and generate high-resolution maps
There were many challenges that the team encountered:
One of the main challenges was the location of the project as it was on the shore of the red sea in high weathers up 45C.
Another issue was not being able to have set missions for the drone to fly daily in the designated areas
After integrating the Hextronics Global system into its operations, Firnas began a long-term project with the Municipality of Al Madinah Al Munawwarah with the main objective to inspect and detect visual pollution around the whole city. Then with the use of AI for analytics, the pictures are filtered into different categories and reported back for repair work orders and follow-ups. Visual pollution includes potholes, construction waste left on the side, abandoned cars, etc. With a fully autonomous system like drone-in-a-box (DIAB), allows for the placement of the units in multiple locations around the city and setting scheduled daily flights to complete the required missions. Due to the powerful HVAC system within the Global, the units are able to withstand the harsh weather conditions and operate all day without the need for onsite operators to be present.
"The Hextronics Global nest allows Firnas Aero team to provide a wide range of services to the clients. These include inspection, detection, surveillance, security services and monitoring. Being able to integrate AI capabilities increases the reliability of these services for better outcomes. Because of the high temperatures that is faced in Saudi Arabia, operations such as inspection and surveillance become easier, faster and more accurate with the use of this technology.
With using the Hextronics Global Station, there are many advantages that come with it. These include higher accuracy since the drone will be flying throughout most of the day. This is because it isn’t necessary to land the drone and wait for the battery to charge or someone to change it.
Having the robotic arm, the batteries are able to be switched and the drone can continue its missions. The risk factor is also much lower since the system is fully autonomous, meaning that no operational team needs to be present, resulting in lower costs for completion of project. Being able to schedule missions throughout the day also plays a big role in saving time. Another benefit for Firnas Aero is not needing to be outside in such high temperatures to complete the projects."
Swapping & Remote Control
HIGHER ACCURACY AND EFFICIENCY
"With the goals and services that Firnas Aero sets to deliver, having the battery swap mechanism allows for higher accuracy and efficiency. With security, surveillance and monitoring as services provided, having the technology of battery swapping allows for maximum productivity. The benefits that come with this technology is eliminating the need for manual battery swapping making our services full autonomous and minimizing the need for human involvement. Alongside this, the downtime of the project becomes very minimal since it takes around 90 seconds for the robotic arm to switch the battery and the drone to fly again and continue the mission. Because the system also charges the used batteries, it allows for the project to be constantly operating. Being located in Saudi Arabia, having a fully autonomous system that can function in temperatures as high as 45˚C allows for the successful completion of projects."
- Firnas Aero
"Another aspect of the system that improves the reliability of the system is the remote control of the drone. Being able to pre-plan and generate missions for the drone to fly allows for smoother operation in the projects conducted by Firnas Aero. For instant in the project with Municipality of Al Madinah Al Munawwarah, the drone can fly in the same route it initially did when running missions for follow-ups of removing the visual pollution. This allows for higher accuracy in reporting back the results of the project. In the case of an emergency, the operating team receives an alert and this team is then able to manually control the drone. Another benefit that comes with having remote control of the drone is being able to operate different actions in each point throughout the mission."
- Firnas Aero