Thinking of starting a drone business? Here’s why we think Ireland could be a great place to do so! If you are reading this and would like to promote you business, make sure to get in touch with us and we'll be sure to showcase it here!
On the simplest terms, with stunningly beautiful backdrops and expansive rural scenes, photographers and businesses are being inspired to take to the skies. Make sure to check out the BBC’s Wild Ireland documentary featuring incredibly powerful use of drones capturing humpback whales and Skellig Michael the Unesco World Heritage featured in Star Wars. If you are looking to create incredible visual content to promote your business or sell stock footage, make sure to take the trip over to Ireland's west-coast.
Beyond this there are a range from drone expos and conferences; Belfast even hosted the DJI Inspire 2’s first reveal in November 2016. There have been leading edge products redefining what is possible for the drone industry creating vision processing computer chips and a host of businesses aiming to revolutionise and enable the current and future development of the drone industry.
Check out our list and make sure to check out the companies we've mentioned, they are doing incredible work furthering the industry in a wide variety of innovative and powerful ways!
Whether you want to promote yourself as a pilot and/or your aerial services or just simply sell your aerial footage, Skytango (https://skytango.com/) is the perfect solution for you. Skytango was built by film and television producers, directors, editors and drone operators. The company boasts a huge following of drone pilots looking to sell their content and an engaging audience who are ready to buy it.
Based in Dublin, the Skytango team created the first global marketplace for commercial buyers to find the perfect drone footage for whatever suits their needs. With features such as newscall, where buyers can see pilot locations in real-time and book them then and there for a job akin to “Uber for drone ops”, and the ability for buyers to communicate directly with the pilots through the Skytango app and desktop notifications - it’s evident to see why pilots flock to the service.
Fearghus Foyle, founded Aerial Eye with the aim of providing aerial services to the planning and construction industries. Recently Aerial Eye worked with Failte Ireland to create a virtual reality 360-degree aerial tour of the Wild Atlantic Way.
Aerial Eye not only uses drones to create amazing interactive images, they also use them to create 3D models for clients, for example this fascinating interactive 3-D model depicting Clifden Castle.
"Drones are rapidly becoming much more than aerial cameras. These aerial platforms now integrate a range of sensors in such a way that they are essentially flying computers collecting data for a host of different industries. This enables UAV operators to provide clients with real, quantifiable information which streamlines and expedites traditional data collection processes in industries such as planning, construction and asset management. Utilising flight planning software such as Flyte allows us, as operators, to work that much more efficiently and saves time in planning our flights."
Make sure to check out the DroneDeploy article featuring both Flyte and Aerial Eye.
Founded by James Long in 2016, Long Range Media is a Limerick based company that deploys drone technology to capture the highest quality aerial footage, tailored to suit individual project needs.
James loved the idea of being able to attach various cameras to multi-roters to capture dramatic footage, and being a hobbiest for over 15 years, with experience flying and making model helicopters and aeroplanes, moving into drones was a natural progression for him.
Long Range Media operate purpose-built drones to meet the increasingly broad requirements of customers across all industry verticals – from site surveys and roof inspections within the construction industry, to promotional videos for commercial organisations. Although based in Limerick, the business has catered for clients throughout Ireland as a whole and has provided footage and imagery for national media on numerous occasions.
Capable of operation in up to 20KM winds, all their cameras are gyro-stabilised with manually operated full 360 degree 3-axis rotation capabilities, enabling them to produce footage at the highest quality. In addition, Long Range Media offer extensive image and video post-processing.
Photo: Courtesy of James Long of LongRangeMedia
It’s easy to see why thousands of people are subscribed to Drone Girl’s Youtube channel. Documenting her everyday life, as well as filming the beautiful picturesque aerial views of old Ireland with Yuneec and DJI drones, Chrissie shows us the wondrous isle of Erin from a perspective that many will not have seen it from.
Starting out with her husband's DJI FC40, she quickly took the reigns and changed the name of their joint Youtube channel from DJIQuadcopterGirl to Drone Girl. With the aim of capturing the alluring ruins of old castles and church ruins, Chrissie replaced her Yuneec Typhoon with the DJI Phantom 4 with 4k video capabilities to really ensure she captured the impressive ruins of an almost forgotten old Ireland.
“With the drones and of course our camera, we decided that we could do something amazing, travel around and take photographs/ video of beautiful Ireland”
Based in Cork, SkyTec Ireland uses their drones for a broad range of services, from industrial inspections to high end filming for TV and film producers. They are one of the first in the industry to be offering the ability to shoot in 4k resolutions. SkyTec Ireland are leaders in offering fully interactive 360 degree panorama shots and operate through the United Kingdom, Ireland.
Our focus is broad, ranging across industrial inspections of wind turbine construction, archaeology surveys, chimney inspections and far more including indoor video production. Additionally, we run the SkyTec Academy, an IAA approved Registered Training Facility which offers a training programme for licensing and basic flying skills for anyone interested in flying drones. We are presently working in the United States developing drone technology for specific markets.
Model Heli Services is a family run business established in 1996, with expertise in everything radio controlled. The business is built upon the motto “we can fly what we sell” with both Liam and Mark Broderick flying, selling and building model aircraft long before DJI were even at a concept stage. Liam has represented Ireland in the World Championships in both Aero and Heli competitions multiple times.
They diversified the business in 2011 after building and testing the “DJI Flamewheel”. After realising its versatility and high performance, they began stocking a huge range of both DJI and Yuneec drones and accessories, as well as plying their Radio Control Model Aircraft expertise to offer customised builds for professional operators' requirements.
Currently, they supply drones across all areas; hobbyists to search and rescue teams nationwide. As Model Heli Services continues to grow within the Drone Industry, providing their expertise and on-hand support to new drone businesses whereever possible.
Recently they were tasked with a Thermal solution for Aerial Eye. The choice was made to use DJI's Matrice 600 and equip it with one of the market leaders “Workswell” thermal camera.
"We chose the “Wiris” model as it has the best features for inspection work and is complete with a certificate of calibration which is vital when working at 0.5 deg resolution, with 14 times zoom for safer inspections."
You can buy online from Model Heli Services but it’s going to be worthwhile making the trip to go see them. They offer customers use of a private flying site where an introductory lesson is provided. They offer a free service where your new drone will be test flown and upgraded to the latest software before collection or delivery; currently the only company providing this service in Ireland.
Model Heli Services works closely with the drone community in Ireland and have a great relationship with the ground schools where our customers can learn all about the drone regulations. Both Liam and Mark have completed the ground school courses and flight tests and hold licences to fly up to 25kg and Mark is a member of the UAAI.
Founded in Dublin, and with it’s design centre still based in the heart of the city, Movidius was initially created to change the fabless semiconductor industry. They quickly realised there was massive potential for low power vision chips to revolutionise the drone industry.
Unsurprisingly, they were acquired by Intel in 2016 and quickly partnered with DJI creating the Myriad 2 VPU chip. This chip is responsible for bringing near human like sight to the DJI range, being found in Phantom 4 Pro, Mavic Pro and Inspire 2 and most recently Phantom 4 Advanced.
Through enabling DJI’s 3D depth sensing algorithms to enable object recognition, drones fitted with this chip can understand gesture commands, follow you when biking and stabilize in a fixed position even when GPS is unavailable.
Founded by Oisin McGrath & Gearóid Ó Briain, Flyryte Drone Academy was founded to help educate and train Irish Pilots, to use drones safely and promote the safe use of drones. Based in Dublin, and formerly operating under the name iFly, they offer nearly 20 years of civillian and military flying experience to their growing number of trainee drone pilots. Beyond just training them, they make sure to maintain a lively community to support and engage with pilots before and after completion of flight schools.
Flyryte recently became centre of attention in Ireland as they became the first Drone Parcel Delivery in Ireland whilst working in collaboration with the IAA. This Delivering medical supplies to a rib in the harbour, the drone delivery was the first IAA approved drone delivery on the island.
Taking place bi-annually here in Ireland and California, Drones Data X conference brings together leading professionals within the drone industry to share insights with others inside and outwith the industry. Founded back in 2014 by Philip McNamara, originally from Ireland but living in California, Drones Data X Conference.
The conference weekend consists of the actual conference where a number of industry leaders take to the stage and the exclusive invite only VIP Weekend which in the past has included drone demos, tech talks and some networking opportunities taking the form of kitesurfing and mountain biking.
This list just begins to scratch the surface and we will continue to update this as new and emerging businesses and innovations emerge. If you would like to see your business included on the list don’t hesitate to get in contact with us and tell us a little bit about yourself and your business. Once we do this, don’t forget to share!