autel robotics

Autel Robotics USA it would seem has laid off staff. I have reached out to Autel but nothing direct back from them yet.

I thought I would l take to LinkedIn. Former Autel employee Aaron Beach has updated his profile.

I accepted a job with Drone start-up Autel Robotics in Seattle as a Senior Account Manager. We successfully launched the X-Star drone in April 2016. During the next 8 months, I prospected and closed 52 new accounts, including closing and managing 4 of the top 10 accounts in the company, and contributing sales strategy and input to multiple departments. Unfortunately, Autel was not immune to the drone industry downturn, which resulted in Autel laying off most of its sales and marketing staff after CES in late January 2017.

Autel is currently the main competition to DJI. Has Mavic been the undoing of the X-Star offering?

Autel Robotics USA grew out of Steve McIrvins CopterShop a DJI reseller. Autel Robotics China acquired CopterShop to create a foothold in the USA,

It might not be the end, though, it might signal a pivot.

Autel has been ahead of the game on many occasions, my personal favourite back in August 2016 when they offered to pay for their buyers Part 107 tests.

“We want to make professional drone use easy and accessible to wide variety of business users, and paying for the testing fees for our users is one small way we’re helping customers learn about how drones can make their businesses more profitable, safer and more productive,” Autel Robotics USA CEO Steve McIrvin said. “These new rules provide clarity and lower the barriers to entry for professional users…It’s an exciting time to be at the forefront of this flourishing industry.”

Maybe Autel Robotics USA is moving to commercial applications, the vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) Kestrel aircraft should be available soon. It was shown off along with a new, compact 5kg VTOL concept at CES 2017.

“The Autel team has been working on all aspects of the Kestrel system from ground control and sensors to data analysis software,” Dr Jian Wang, Director of Research and Development at Autel, said. “We are excited to start working with customers in 2017.”

“With the addition of the 5kg project, we will be able to cover a much broader range of applications,” Wang said. “The optimised aircraft concept, developed together with our research partners, will allow for leading performance in this class of professional drone systems.”

Autel Robotics also announced two new modules for its X‑Star drones and its Software Development Kit, all available in 2017.

DJI don’t have an aircraft; multirotor endurance is still hampered by physics.

Is Autel moving into a marketplace where they feel they can have a larger slice of the pie?

This year is sorting the wheat from the chaff in a contracting consumer drone market. Peak consumer drone has been and gone.

Commercial drone operators now know better what they need.

Companies that make it out of 2017 will sell task focussed platforms that target niches.


By 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.