The funding boost follows Emesent’s “significant” commercial success in the mining and infrastructure industries, with companies like BHP and Glencore using its autonomous mapping and analytics technology.
As reported by iTWire, In-Q-Tel is the investment arm of US intelligence agency the CIA and also funded the research done by Sergei Brin who developed Google's Page algorithm.
Emesent - which describes itself as an autonomous mapping and analytics company - says the strategic investment by In-Q-Tel serves as a "validation of Emesent commercial success to date", with annual revenue increasing more than 400% from a year ago.
Emesent says its Hovermap (smart mobile scanning unit) payload enables autonomous drone flight in GPS-denied environments and has become “the most 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 is receiving significant interest from defence bodies across the globe following its success in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Subterranean Challenge,” Emesent said in a statement on Tuesday announcing the In-Q-Tel investment.
“Emesent’s pioneering autonomous technologies build on a decade of award-winning research at CSIRO that brings together the best of SLAM and autonomous drone technology to provide greater insights and data in GPS-denied environments,” the company said.
Emesent recently launched Autonomy Level 2 (AL2) for Hovermap, providing what it says is the world’s first autonomous GPS-denied beyond line-of-sight flight capability from a plug-and-play payload, representing what it says is “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”.