Denver Flyability indoor drone swiss helios 2

Denver gets boost as yet another drone company opens offices

If you’re looking for a career in drones, Denver may be the spot to relocate. On the heels of news that Pix4D would open an office in downtown Denver, Colorado, yet another drone company is opening there.

Flyability opened its first U.S. office this year. And you guessed it — it’s in Denver.

Flyability is a Swiss-based company known for its Elios 2 drone, which was designed for indoor inspections, including for industries like oil and gas, power generation, mining and waste management.

The company said opening the Denver office would allow it to better expand into U.S. markets and be able to provide better support to U.S.-based customers and partners.

“Denver was selected for Flyability’s first U.S. office because of its central location in North America, its thriving technology-focused community, and its large airport, which will help provide close support to customers by enabling more frequent onsite consultations and training,” according to a statement from Flyability.

Among others in its tech-focused community: Pix4D, which builds mapping software designed for drones. Pix4D’s first U.S.-based office was in San Francisco, with Denver serving as the site for their second U.S. office (they have a fairly large global footprint, with offices in cities including Shanghai, Berlin, Madrid, and Tokyo.

And don’t forget that Denver has a solid beer scene, which aligns well with one of Flyability’s other projects: using a drone to inspect a beer factory.

Flyability’s indoor drone has interesting challenges. While flying indoors means they don’t need to worry about FAA regulations (indoor air is not considered ‘airspace’), indoor flying certainly isn’t any easier. GPS positioning likely won’t help indoors, so indoor drones typically use technologies like artificial intelligence, computer vision, LiDAR, mini RADAR, and simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) to position the drone.

Flyability has been growing at a fairly rapid clip in recent years after snagging an $11 million Series B fundraising round in 2018, followed by the release of its Elios 2 in 2019.

Flyability also added that they intend to ramp up Denver-based hiring over the next few months. That all adds to a good argument for why Denver could be the new Silicon Valley. In fact, Denver ranks fourth in Forbes’ list of Best Places for Business and Careers, while the state of Colorado as a whole ranks No. 3 in most startup funding per capita. Software engineers in Denver can expect to earn on average $90,451, according to Glassdoor data.

And in light of Flyability’s new office, the company is also hosting a user conference next month in Denver at the Colorado School of Mines. The two-day conference will be held March 18 and 19, including talks and panels on indoor drone inspections, and hands-on training sessions for using the Elios 2. The event is free if you register before March 1, then it’s $129. Get more information on that conference here.

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