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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted Airobotics, a manufacturer of uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS) and a subsidiary of Ondas Holdings, an Airworthiness Type Certification for its Optimus 1-EX. The system is only the second-ever Uncrewed Aircraft to receive this certification and the first “drone-in-a-box” system.
The FAA’s Type Certificate is the highest level of Airworthiness Certification granted by the agency. Airobotics’ Optimus system is designated by the FAA for fully automated drone operations for emergency response and digital data capturing.
“We are thrilled to be the only US company currently to have the capability to deploy fully automated drones with Type Certificate in the US as permanent aerial infrastructures in populated and complex environments,” Meir Kliner, Airobotics’ CEO, said. “Drones without an airworthiness certificate face great obstacles in obtaining waivers to operate over people and active roads, and we believe that our Type certified Optimus-1EX drone will soon be deployed in a broader range of scenarios. The last type certificate given by the FAA was for a package delivery drone and now we have opened the opportunity for more lifesaving applications such as Drone First Responding (DFR), rapid infrastructure survey for disaster relief applications and more.”
This certification was a result of a four-year intensive engineering and operational review process conducted by the FAA.
The Optimus System is already at work regularly in urban environments in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Airobotics plans to leverage this experience in the UAE, and their newly type-certified vehicle, to conduct similar operations in urban environments across the US.
Airobotics’ Optimus System is an autonomous unmanned aircraft system that focuses on high-value applications within the industrial, homeland security and smart city services market. The system includes an industrial-grade drone-in-a-box and the Optimus Airbase, which allows for robotic battery and payload swapping.
Earlier this year, Airobotics announced that it had completed the acquisition of the assets of Iron Drone Ltd, an Israeli-based company that creates autonomous counter-drone systems. The acquisition became effective on March 6, 2023.
Ondas announced it was acquiring Airobotics in July 2022, with the goal of accelerating American Robotics‘, another Ondas subsidiary, technical development and regulatory roadmap and expanding the breadth of applications, use cases and vertical AR targets.