Emesent, an autonomous mapping and analytics company, announced a new investment from In-Q-Tel (IQT), the not-for-profit strategic investor that started as an offshoot of the US Central Intelligence Agency and which identifies innovative technology solutions to support the defence and government communities of the US, Australia, and other allies. The strategic investment will help power Emesent’s expansion into new industries including defence, security, and emergency response. Neither company disclosed the amount of the investment. Emesent’s Hovermap payload enables autonomous drone flight in GPS-denied environments and has become a widely-deployed solution for autonomous drones in the underground mining sector, being used across 60 mine sites and covering more than 4,000 autonomous underground flights over the course of two years.
With investment from In-Q-Tel, and building on Emesent’s proven capabilities in mining and infrastructure, the company is growing into new industries including defence, security and crisis management, addressing the global incident and emergency management market, which is expected to reach US$156.1 billion by 2025. Emesent said it is receiving significant interest from defence bodies across the globe following its success in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Subterranean Challenge.
Emesent’s autonomous technologies build on a decade of research at CSIRO that brings together the best of SLAM and autonomous drone technology to provide greater insights and data in GPS-denied environments. It recently launched Autonomy Level 2 (AL2) for Hovermap, providing the world’s first autonomous GPS-denied beyond line-of-sight flight capability from a plug-and-play payload. It represents a major breakthrough in the journey to fully autonomous flight systems, enabling drones to navigate underground environments and for the systems to be operated remotely.
Brigid O’Brien, managing director of IQT Australia, said “Emesent’s autonomous technology provides much-needed capabilities that hold far reaching potential across many industries. We are delighted to support the continued growth of Emesent into new industries and use cases, both in Australia and globally.”
Dr Stefan Hrabar, CEO and co-founder of Emesent, said “this investment from In-Q-Tel and the strategic support it offers is a boon for our continued growth and the growth of drone autonomy. Autonomous drones offer huge benefits to many industries including mining, civil construction, defence and emergency response. With In-Q-Tel’s support we can continue our expansion into new industries and use cases to support more customers with autonomous drone technology.”