- Partnership supports the complete Intelligent Energy Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) product range from 650W to 2.4kW
- Robotic Skies will initially provide integration support to North American customers
- Robotic Skies network comprises 200 Service Centers across more than 40 countries
Loughborough, UK – 5 May 2020, Intelligent Energy, the UK fuel cell engineering business, announced today it signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with US-based UAV maintenance, repair, and overhaul services provider, Robotic Skies. The partnership enables Intelligent Energy to expand post-sale support for its industry-leading Fuel Cell Power Modules.
Intelligent Energy’s Fuel Cell Power Modules are the lightest and most power dense available on the market, offering many advantages for commercial UAV users. In particular, they are offer a solution to the current issue of endurance for companies offering parcel delivery and inspection services. Intelligent Energy fuel cells achieve three times the flight duration compared to batteries and their lightweight design means they can lift larger UAVs and carry heavier payloads.
The two companies are working together to establish Robotic Skies as an integration partner for Intelligent Energy’s Fuel Cell Power Modules. The MOU will initially focus on the North American UAV market, but with the potential to support other Intelligent Energy products in the field.
Intelligent Energy will design, manufacture and sell its leading, lightweight fuel cell products to the UAV sector and Robotic Skies, through its global network of service centers, will provide maintenance and other ground support services for Intelligent Energy’s customers.
Intelligent Energy fuel cells extend flight times to UAVs presently constrained by the limitations of batteries. Flight durations of over three times that provided by batteries have been achieved.
Intelligent Energy Chief Sales Officer, Lee Juby commented: “The North American market is important to us and as such we welcome this new partnership with Robotic Skies. Their global network of commercial UAV Service Centres will provide additional support to our customers and help them to deliver more from their UAVs by unlocking longer flight time and higher payload capability. Together we can accelerate sales of the smallest and lightest fuel cell UAV products on the market today.”
Brad Hayden, President & CEO of Robotic Skies said: “Intelligent Energy’s advanced fuel cell system is the kind of innovation that drives the commercial UAV market forward. Our partnership will give operators and manufacturers a path to integrate this game-changing technology into new and existing unmanned aircraft platforms.”
About Intelligent Energy
Intelligent Energy is focused on the development and manufacture of its Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell products for customers in the automotive, aerospace, generator, telecoms, materials handling and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) sectors. Intelligent Energy is built on 30 years of PEM fuel cell development. Following acquisition by Meditor Energy, part of the Meditor Group, in October 2017 Meditor has accelerated investment to facilitate further development and commercialisation of the technology and expansion of the product offering. The company is headquartered and manufactures in Loughborough in the UK, with additional offices and representation in the US, Japan, China and South Korea.
About Robotic Skies
Robotic Skies is a global network of maintenance Service Centers for enterprise Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) fleets. Founded in 2014, Robotic Skies has more than 200 independently owned and operated certified repair stations in its network, spanning more than 40 countries. The company’s aviation-grade field service programs are flexible, scalable, and meet the regulatory requirements for complex commercial operations like drone delivery.
About Fuel Cells
Fuel cell technology is similar to battery technology in that individual cells are built up to give the desired power output. However, fuel cells do not run out of charge as batteries do and will produce power for as long as hydrogen fuel is provided to the cell. Hydrogen is readily available around the world, often generated using green energy.
Fuel cells are deployed in multiple applications where clean, lightweight, efficient and cost-effective power is required. Fast re-fuelling and lack of emissions makes fuel cell technology the immediate choice for forklift trucks and warehousing. Fuel cells are common place in clean construction and backup power for critical telecoms. Powering UAVs with fuel cells allows three times the flying time which gives significant advantages in applications such as aerial surveying and filming.
Zero emission hydrogen fuel cell technology will be preferred to battery technology in vehicles where rapid re-fuelling, high power and long range are important. Typical fuel cell applications include SUVs, buses and trucks, along with smaller cars where a high availability is critical, e.g. taxis and shared vehicles. Over 13,000 fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) are on the road today. FCEVs are expected to be an integral part of the connected and autonomous vehicle (“CAV”) revolution over the coming years. Fuel cells are expected to become a dominant technology in de-carbonised aerospace.