ReconRobotics acquires engineering firm

By Chris Newmarker Finance and Commerce

Could Edina-based ReconRobotics end up selling flying robots?

That is one of the intriguing possibilities coming out of ReconRobotics’ acquisition of St. Paul based systems engineering firm Xollai, which was announced Wednesday. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

A group of University of St. Thomas engineering and physics students started Xollai in 2008. They designed advanced automated guidance technology for unmanned aircraft systems, and have gained attention from both the military and aeronautical manufacturing sectors.

Alan Bignall, president and CEO of ReconRobotics, said in a news release that he and other company officials see Xollai’s technology solving unmet needs among ReconRobotics’ military and law enforcement customers, and spoke of “entirely new solutions in advanced manufacturing, image processing and unmanned aerial systems.”

ReconRobotics continues to enjoy brisk business on its small reconnaissance robots, toy-sized remote-controlled devices with video cameras that a soldier or police officer can toss through a door or over a wall.

The U.S. Army alone has placed at least four orders in the past seven months. One Army order — $13.9 million for 1,100 robots – was the largest order in the 6-year-old company’s history.

ReconRobotics markets its products through a distribution network in 33 countries.

“In a short period of time, ReconRobotics has created an entirely new class of police and military robots that has revolutionized tactical operations,” Robert Malecki, Xollai’s cofounder and CEO, said in a news release.

“Our technologies hold similar groundbreaking potential in entirely new sectors and we are delighted to now be working with ReconRobotics to successfully commercialize these solutions for a worldwide market,” Malecki said.

Gary Mortimer

Founder and Editor of sUAS News | Gary Mortimer has been a commercial balloon pilot for 25 years and also flies full-size helicopters. Prior to that, he made tea and coffee in air traffic control towers across the UK as a member of the Royal Air Force.