FLIR Systems, which has been on a spending spree to enhance its unmanned systems offerings, acquired intellectual property (IP) and operating assets from Aria Insights. The Robot Report broke the news about Danvers, Mass.-based Aria Insights, formerly known as Cyphy Works, abruptly shutting down in March 2019.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but here is what The Robot Report has learned about the deal:
- FLIR acquired IP for the Persistent Aerial Reconnaissance and Communications (PARC) tethered drone
- FLIR acquired “some PARC inventory”
- FLIR does not intend to sell PARC going forward
- FLIR acquired IP related to “next-generation, unreleased tethered drone technology”
- FLIR did not take on any customer business or vendor contracts
- FLIR did not acquire any former Aria employees
It plans to use Aria Insights’ tethered drone technology to enhance its current tethered drone capabilities. The assets will be integrated into FLIR’s Unmanned Systems and Integrated Solutions Division, which recently acquired Prox Dynamics, Aeryon Labs, and Endeavor Robotics. The enhanced capabilities will be used for government and defense applications, but the technology is applicable to other markets, including law enforcement, fire services, industrial security, telecommunications, and more.
iRobot DNA at FLIR
CyPhy Works rebranded as Aria Insights in January 2019 to focus more on analyzing the data collected by its drones. But the company was mostly known for PARC, a tethered drone that provided secure communication and continuous flight to customers.
CyPhy Works was founded in 2008 by Helen Greiner, who also co-founded iRobot in 1990. Greiner left CyPhy Works in 2017 and in June 2018 was named an advisor to the US Army for robotics, autonomous systems and AI.
FLIR told The Robot Report it is “excited that iRobot’s DNA is coming back around.” On top of Aria’s ties to iRobot, in February 2019 FLIR acquired iRobot spinout Endeavor for $382 million. Endeavor spun out of iRobot in April 2016 when the military division was sold to Arlington Capital Partners for $45 million. iRobot spun out Endeavor to focus exclusively on its consumer business.
“We’re pleased to complete the sale of our assets to FLIR Systems,” Lance Vandenbrook, former CEO of Aria Insights, said in a statement. “We are proud of the technology our team developed through the operations of CyPhy Works and Aria, and we believe FLIR offers the best opportunity to see it make a difference and support critical missions in the years ahead.”
The Robot Report reached out to Greiner for comment, but has not heard back.