Silicon Valley Start-Up Debuts ‘Internet of Drones’ Platform

Palo Alto, Calif.-based start-up FlytBase Inc. has launched a new cloud platform the company calls the “first Drone API as a Service” offering, which helps connect unmanned aircraft with cloud-based apps and offers access to real-time drone control, telemetry and payload data over 4G/LTE.

According to the start-up, FlytBase Cloud makes use of a custom-developed protocol to connect drones to cloud-based business applications in real time via a secure link.

The company notes that other types of drone-based applications require data to be downloaded manually after the flight and then uploaded to cloud servers for post-processing. However, such applications can now be completely automated, FlytBase claims.

The start-up says several other vertically integrated solutions do offer high levels of integration and connectivity, but they are not open for developers to customize and build their own integrations with business apps.

FlytBase has partnered with Built.io to provide integration with hundreds of business apps, such as Salesforce, Box, Slack, Twilio, Cisco Spark, Zendesk, Dropbox, Nest and YouTube. In turn, without writing any code, users can easily build automated workflows that leverage drones as part of the solution, the company says.

“We are moving towards an era of Internet of Drones (IoD),” comments Nitin Gupta, founder and CEO of the company. “FlytBase is excited to offer the industry’s first platform to help developers quickly build and deploy customized IoD solutions.”

Speaking on how there is currently little standardization in drone hardware and communication protocols, Dhiraj Dhule, director of strategic projects, says, “FlytBase has been working on building adapters to support a large number of drone manufacturers and offers a unified set of APIs for developers. This isolates the application developers from the underlying drone hardware and makes their applications portable across drones.”

FlytBase Cloud is built to support these APIs and is thus compatible with all major drone platforms available today, the company says.

FlytBase also provides a cloud-based drone simulator, FlytSim, for developers to test their applications in simulation before deploying them on real hardware.

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