High-flying micro-drone tech company flies into Westcott Venture Park

Flarebright

A dynamic new technology business has moved into Westcott Venture Park near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire.

FlareBright has grown out of its start-up premises at Cranfield University after a recent equity investment, grant funding and a major contract with the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The company has developed SnapShot, a micro-drone designed to capture instant aerial images in wind, adverse weather and constrained aerospace.

Developed using artificial intelligence, it is a fully autonomous system and will glide back to its user even without a GPS signal and in electromagnetically jammed environments.

SnapShot has a wide variety of applications from search and rescue to surveillance for police and fire operations. Roof and utilities assessments are made easier for construction firms, while commercial property and insurance businesses are another market.

In all cases, continual aerial images are available without the complexity of a drone.

The £226,000 MoD Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) contract is part of the Rapid Impact Innovations programme to develop a soldier-ready robust prototype for testing with the Army. A demonstration is shortly taking place on Salisbury Plain.

Defence attachés from all the allied nations will be attending.

FlareBright has moved to Building 330 at Westcott and is set for rapid growth. It started with four staff and now employs ten with the aim of having a 25-strong workforce within a year. Two apprentices are joining the company soon from Milton Keynes College.

Chris Daniels, Chief Commercial Officer at FlareBright, said: “The last six months has been astonishing in terms of growth. We believe our software is the key that unlocks drone use around the world.

“Our software could be used in every drone throughout the world because it’s something which will make them safe. We are really keen to get into the civilian space – air market which is potentially huge.”

Chris also sees civilian uses for SnapShot which could see Amazon packages for example delivered by drone.

Westcott was attractive to the company because of the wide-open spaces allowing for easier testing and room to grow.

Jayne Cannell, Westcott Business Park Manager, said: “It is fantastic to welcome another highly innovative firm breaking new ground in drone technology.

“We are providing room for testing and space for future growth as part of a community which complements what they do.”