Jack's Journal: Northern Michigan Drone Company - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Jack's Journal: Northern Michigan Drone Company

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At first glance, it’s a group of young guys working on computers. Nothing too shocking there but when you realize that they have put together a company to design and develop an unmanned aerial system, aka drone, that may get your attention.

So, what makes their drone different?

“We’ve built a drone that actually flies indoors and is focused for internal infrastructure inspection. We like to call it GPS denied or confined space flight. That’s where our drone does best,” explains Christian Smith.

I learned most drones rely on GPS to navigate. 

Being inside can limit what they can do. This drone can fly inside 200 foot tall boilers or cargo holds on ships. 

Inspection time is cut to a fraction, cutting down time and costs. 

The onboard camera can take up-close digital photos, making inspection that much more efficient.

The interactive aerial team got together in their college sophomore year. Some brought flight experience, others engineering, but Christian credits Northwestern Michigan College’s drone school with giving them the opportunity. 

Yes, they are very professional. They work hard and are serious about what they are doing, but not all the work was late night in a lab. Hey, they are still young guys.

“I’d lie to you if I said no pizza and beer was included in that.”

So they are through building and are now in the sales and marketing mode, and they are confident they have the right stuff.

“Anything our company makes is made here in Michigan. Not only made in the USA, but made right here in Michigan,” explains Christian. “We are actually trying to send all our vehicles out with a ‘Michigan Made’ sticker.  We are proud of that.”

Five twenty-somethings and drone technology. Put them together and what do you get? An exciting future!