PALO ALTO, Calif., April 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — uAvionix, an emerging leader in aviation communication systems, has closed a $5 million Series A investment, led by Playground Global, a venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley. Playground was founded by Andy Rubin, Bruce Leak, Matt Hershenson, and Peter Barrett to partner with companies building hardware and software systems that instrument and augment the physical world. The investment will be used to further accelerate the development and commercialization of uAvionix’s groundbreaking avionics system.
Paul Beard, a technology pioneer, founded uAvionix in 2015 after observing the boom in drones expose the fragility of the current avionics system creating a hazardous flying environment for commercial and consumer aircraft. In response, uAvionix has introduced “pingRX,” a miniature ADS-B receiver that weighs 5 grams. ADS-B, or “Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast” is a system used by commercial airliners to help them sense and avoid each other, thereby reducing the risk of airborne collisions.
Previous ADS-B hardware was too large and expensive for use in small drones. The issue has been discussed widely due to the increasing incidence of drone/airliner “near misses.” The new uAvionix “pingRX” is the smallest and most affordable ADS-B receiver available for commercial and consumer drones. This hardware allows both manned and unmanned aircraft to track each other’s movement and avoid potential conflicts.
I’m delighted to have Paul and his team co-locate in the Playground Studio,” says Andy Rubin, Playground co-founder and Android co-creator. “uAvionix is building critical infrastructure for providing robust, secure, and reliable communication between drones and other aircraft.”
“No startup has time to wait for regulators to give them permission to invent the future,” added Bruce Leak, Playground co-founder and uAvionix board member. “Entrepreneurs need to build and deploy products that are future-ready and we believe uAvionix is poised to emerge as the de facto standard for drone-to-drone and drone-to-aircraft communication.”
“The disruption of a marketplaces is an ambition for many startups and for investors to appreciate, requires a fairly major perspective shift from what they might be used to.” said Paul Beard uAvionix CEO. “We are determined to make a safer sky by combining disruptive technologies to bring an affordable ADS-B to market that’s compatible with the full scale aviation collision avoidance system that exists today.”
uAvionix will display the patent-pending “pingRX” ADS-B receiver this week at the sUSB Expo in San FranciscoApril 27-29, and at the Xponential/AUVSI trade show in New Orleans, May 3-5.
More information about the new pingRX and other uAvionix technology can be found at www.uavionix.com.
uAvionix develops the world’s smallest, lightest and most affordable family of ADS-B transponders, receivers and navigation tools. uAvionix’ Ping network system combines hardware, software, and real time airspace mapping to enable companies to safely and reliably operate drones in the NAS. Founded in 2015, Palo Alto based uAvionix has gathered a cross-disciplinary team of experts in embedded RF engineering, sUAS operations and compliance, hardware, software, and cloud services. CEO Paul Beard is a serial entrepreneur with an extensive background in aviation and unmanned aircraft systems.