Mission & Vision
DRONE HOPPER is a fresh and environmentally committed start-up that was born to develop the founder dream to use high cacapity drones to help on wildfires firefighting, especially to complement exisitng aerial means on scenarios wehre they cannot operate (i.e. at night).
Currently, 6 highly-motivated people work in the Company (2 Environmental engineers, 3 aerospace engineers and 1 aerospace mechanic). The plan is to hire at least 2 additional PhD during 2018.
With very humble origins, DRONE HOPPER has been able to move forward and survive thanks to private and public funding. DRONE HOPPER has received funding both from the European Union (SME Instrument under Horizon 2020 programme) and the Spanish Ministry of Industry (ENISA - Jóvenes Emprendedores) and is also incubated by the ESA (European Space Agency) as a winner of the ESNC (European Satellite Navigation Competition) in 2016. Also, other awards like the ONE Magazine “Valor Seguro” winner and the Innovation Award winner by the Spanish Aerospace Engineering Association have selected DRONE HOPPER in 2016.
Recently, a big step towards the production of commercial units has come through the CDTI call for INNOGLOBAL & International Technological Cooperation Projects with India to develop URBAN HOPPER platform, designed to counter urban & city fires worldwide.
In this exciting journey, DRONE HOPPER has been able to incorporate important technological partners to the project like University Carlos III Madrid (control and automated navigation experts), University Politécnica Madrid (regulation and certification experts). Also, an array of supplier companies necessary to design and manufacture equipment and parts (ENAIDEN, AUTOMATED DEVICES, SCHÜBELER Technologies, AXTER Aerospace, MICROPILOT …).
In addition, many potential commercial partners outside Spain have shown interest on teaming with DRONE HOPPER to work on a specific area. The most advanced collaboration abroad is with Indian company INTECH to build and distribute firefighting drones (150 litres) for building firefighting in India and Asia using turbines technology.
In the short-term, focus is on finishing and flying middle-size prototype. Also, design of URBAN HOPPER platform, derived from this middle-size prototype, is launched, in the frame of Spanish Indian collaboration project.
In the mid-term, development and manufacturing of first commercial large units (up to 2.500 liters) needs additional funding. This development includes thermal engines procurement and integration, control and navigation, validation, test… and certification plus all commercial activities needed to market the product.
In parallel, several activities with public funding are under preparation or waiting for resolution. Most important projects are the H2020 SME Instrument Phase II Application (WILDHOPPER), CDTI NEOTEC (FOREST HOPPER) and CDTI Egypt-Spain bilateral call for agriculture (AGRO HOPPER).