Logo involi-2

Manu Lubrano, CEO

inVoli GmbH
c/o OneSky Sàrl
Chemin de la Roche 37
1020 Renens
manu.lubrano@involi.com
www.involi.com

Sichere Integration von Drohnen in den Luftverkehr

Der Verkehr in den Lüften nimmt immer mehr zu, Zusammenstösse zwischen Drohnen und Flugzeugen werden gemäss Gründer und CEO Manu Lubrano zunehmend zur Gefahr. Die Behörden reagieren mit Flugverbotszonen für Drohnen, insbesondere in der Nähe von Flughäfen und Städten. Letztere sind für kommerzielle Zwecke jedoch am interessantesten. Diese restriktiven Luftverkehrsvorschriften hindern die Ausschöpfung des Potentials von Drohnen. Hinzu kommt, dass die eingesetzten Flugverkehrsmanagementsysteme gar nicht für die kommerzielle Nutzung in vielbeflogenen Lufträumen konzipiert sind, denn sie basieren auf dem Faktor Mensch, der mit der künftigen Integration von Dutzenden Millionen von Drohnen nicht effizient skalieren kann.

inVoli bietet mit seiner Hard- und Software die Infrastruktur für eine sichere Integration von unbemannten Flugobjekten in den bestehenden Luftverkehr. Die Technologie des Waadtländer Startups will Daten zur Flugverkehrslage zugänglich machen und Beteiligte sowie die Flugkörper selbst mit den notwendigen Instrumenten ausrüsten, um die Lüfte sicherer und effizienter zu nutzen. inVoli sammelt auch Daten in einer Lufthöhe unter 2,000 Fuss, genau dort, wo sich die meisten Drohnen tummeln. Signale in dieser niedrigeren Flughöhe sind bis heute nicht verfügbar.

Die Online-Plattform von inVoli sammelt Daten aus einem Netz von kompakten Mikrokontrolltürmen, sodass jeder Nutzer erkennen kann, welche Objekte sich im näheren Umkreis der Drohne befinden.

Die Towers empfangen Identifikationssignale von Flugzeugen im Radius von 10 Kilometern. Diese Signale geben Aufschluss über
• die GPS-Position
• Flugrichtung
• Geschwindigkeit
• Distanz
• Höhe
der einzelnen Flieger.

Das System leitet diese Daten ans Interface der Drohne weiter, damit diese frühzeitig über andere Flugkörper im Bild ist und sich allenfalls automatisch und sicher aus der Gefahrenzone manövrieren kann. Die eingesetzte Software ist mit bereits existierender Drohnen-Software kompatibel.

Das Waadtländer Startup hat seinen Sitz in Renens. Das vierköpfige Team besteht aus Manu Lubrano (CEO), Mélanie Guittet (Sales & Marketing), Cristina Mihalachioiu (Legal & Communication) und Steven Roelofsen (R & D). Diese Truppe sieht in ihrer Technologie die Grundlage für eine globale Drohnenrevolution.

Q & A

What inspired you to start your company?
I love starting projects from scratch and I am really motivated to bring to life new technologies and new concepts. Specifically, with my background in both drones and general aviation, I couldn’t help but notice that the latter was stuck in the ’60s. So the goal is to bring aviation into the 21st century and allow drones to be a safe part of it. Also, motivating people is a challenge in which I never lose interest!

What entrepreneur(s) do you admire and why?
In the Swiss context, my two favorite entrepreneurs are: Tej Tadi (MindMaze) because he is proving that a Swiss startup can also become a unicorn; Jean-Christophe Zufferey (senseFly), not only because I worked a lot with him and I like his management „style“, but also because he proved that even with a strong academic background it is possible to be a successful entrepreneur.
Of course, in the international context I very much admire Elon Musk (Tesla, Space X and Hyperloop) for the incredible determination to make science-fiction technology a reality.

Can you tell us a short story about a customer using your product?
Our product was first used for a professional cartography drone mission for The World Bank in Tanzania.
For the mission, the drone was literally flying over the runway of the international airport of the capital, Dar Es Salaam. With our system we were able to see on our screen the position of incoming aircraft and have the drone in a safe position to allow the aircraft to land safely. Of course our clients were delighted to conduct their mission, but it was incredible to speak with the people in the control tower on the phone and hear how shocked they were when we said we already knew when aircraft were incoming and we already put the drone in a safe position, even before they announced it to us!

What do you love about your own leadership role in your company?
Most people think that being the CEO means being the boss and doing whatever I like everyday.
In reality, it’s a continuous process of understanding how people work and how I work, and how I can adapt in order to get things done. This is really challenging and it allows me to discover and improve myself every step of the way. This is, of course, the best part of it, and also the most challenging.

Why did you apply for the W.A. de Vigier Award?
We applied for the de Vigier award because of its prestige and the possible outcome in terms of reputation and financing – besides the prize, we are convinced that having a reputable Swiss foundation as a shareholder would increase our credibility and add to our success (in fact, our main investor was very impressed when we informed him about being finalists).
Also, one of our goals is to show the world how advanced Switzerland’s startup ecosystem is and this is very much aligned with the de Vigier vision.

What are your impressions so far about the W.A. de Vigier Award?
We are really excited and amazed at all the possibilities the de Vigier Award opened and could open to us. We can already see the incredible impact de Vigier representatives‘ advice has had on our day-to-day business activities: the assessment of my management style helped me understand more of the organizational entanglements and how to relate to myself and to the others, colleagues or partners. Also, working on a presentation which is focused not only on the project but also on myself as an individual and as a manager, made me look deeper into my thoughts and organize them for the benefit of the company. Therefore, we can’t wait to see what the next steps will bring!