Update: ImiTec Limited came 5th in the finals of the 2016 United Arab Emirates’ Drones for Good competition. Chris Abbott, ImiTec CEO, says of the win, “To come 5th out of 1017 entrants from 165 countries the first time we entered the competition is a great achievement for ImiTec and our Small Unmanned Aerial Systems partner, Droneops. The whole team led, by our Technical Director Dr Tom Scott, performed exceptionally well and could not have done more as shown by earning for the highest scores for presentation and demonstration in the semi-finals.”
Bristol-based drone company ImiTec‘s radiation monitoring drone has got through to the semi-finals of the United Arab Emirates’ Drone for Good competition – an annual international competition provided by the UAE government to encourage useful and positive applications for drone technology.
The company’s Advanced Airborne Radiation Monitoring System (AARM) drone is one of only 20 semi-finalists competing for the $1million prize being awarded in February.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for us to demonstrate our unique technology on a world stage”
ImiTec’s AARM system provides low-altitude aerial radiation detection and undertakes a range of tasks from the routine monitoring of naturally occurring radiation deposits and nuclear sites to responding to a nuclear accident or incidents involving radioactive materials. This means that people aren’t put in risk on the ground in possible radiation-contaminated areas, or by flying in helicopters above it.
ImiTec’s drone system also costs a mere 1/100th of the price of helicopters, the usual solution used.
ImiTec tech at Venturefest: ImiTec shows off previous
versions of its drone at the 2015 Venturefest innovation event
We spoke to Chris Abbott, CEO of Imitec who is unsurprisingly over the moon his company has been nominated: “As a newly formed company this is excellent news for ImiTec and a wonderful opportunity for us to demonstrate our unique technology on a world stage.
“It will allow us to show how our Advanced Airborne Radiation Monitoring System can benefit people’s lives. Understanding radiation and its risks and benefits can help us, as individuals and as a society, to make informed decisions about the use of radiation and actions to protect ourselves from possible harm.”
ImiTec’s AARM system isn’t just a concept either, it’s a proven technology: AARM was the first UAV ever to fly over Sellafield nuclear facility in the United Kingdom and has also been used to undertake radiation surveys in Portugal and in the Fukushima Prefecture in Japan.
You can see more about the drone in ImiTec’s competition application video here:
Flying high in Bristol
ImiTec was founded in Bristol and Chris has great things to say about the region when it comes to creating startups there: “Bristol is ideally suited to technology startups with much support available to help new businesses overcome the challenges that many face in the early years. ImiTec is a member of business incubator Bristol SETSquared which is very supportive without being intrusive. The University and Local Authority, SETSquared’s key partners, are both very active and fully engaged as are many local professional service firms and services that support the centre.”
And ImiTec isn’t standing still, they are planning a lot for the future, as Chris explains: “ImiTec continues to further develop AARM and to develop the core RIAS technology for integration onto other platforms including vehicles, blimps, submersibles and other autonomous robot systems and a man-pack variant.”