PARTNERS IN PRECISION. TWO INDUSTRY EXPERTS.
One simple choice.
At first, some might not see Microdrones and GE as a seamless fit for a worldwide partnership.
In 1892 GE was founded by Thomas Edison and financed by J.P. Morgan. When Microdrones originated more than a century later, in 2005, its three partners worked out of a basement in Germany.
Yet times change. Today, GE is a $116 billion corporation in areas from jet engines to healthcare. Microdrones, though far from that size, grew from one founder’s passion for fast model airplanes to master airframe and propeller design and develop the world’s first commercial quadcopter. That put Microdrones on its flight path toward becoming today’s high-end integrator of robust, extremely accurate LiDAR and photogrammetry to empower professional surveying and mapping solutions.
What do Microdrones and GE have in common? Strong leadership.
And so, it made sense when in July 2021, the two innovators joined forces to offer the GE industrial drone line. Microdrones and GE remain two distinct companies that have entered into a mutually beneficial business agreement. The partnership is one of GE’s first forays into the unmanned systems space.
Microdrones is honing its fit alongside GE, as CEO Heriard-Dubreuil explained to Field Tested Field Proven. “GE is an iconic global company with success spanning more than 125 years in aviation, propulsions, and avionics; we are also a pioneer in our industry, having invented the first quadcopter more than a decade ago.”
So, it’s Microdrones and GE, combining expertise into a force multiplier. Hand in glove. Side by side. Innovation and customer focus.
Or, as the dedicated website established to support the partnership puts it: “Two Industry Experts. One Simple Choice.”
Vivien Heriard-Dubreuil, CEO, Microdrones
This is a win for both GE and Microdrones and most importantly, our customers.
A Virtuous Circle
The GE industrial drone line is designed to take two complementary companies to the next level of capability and customer benefit.
“Microdrones has been successfully addressing the needs of small-to-mid-size surveying and engineering companies to adopt drone technology and become more efficient,” Heriard-Dubreuil noted. “The additional resources, expertise, and organization that GE brings to the table open the door to more industry verticals that will unlock the potential of additional industrial applications.”
Frank Darmayan, chief operating officer at Microdrones, expanded on these advantages. “In addition to elevating our industrial market expertise and global reach, this partnership allows GE to pro-vide field-proven inspection, surveying, and geomatics technology that complements its key industrial segments, allowing for the creation and maintenance of digital twins, digital terrain models, map and other geospatial products.”
“The GE industrial drone line is a powerful extension and a great fit for the GE brand,” GE licensing senior managing director Thomas Buccellato offered. “This is just the beginning of something very promising as we work with Microdrones to scale this up and offer a very powerful and trusted drone surveying solution to our industrial customers worldwide.”
Microdrones also will benefit from GE’s investment in parent company mdGroup, while GE learns the intricacies of the high-end sensor market through the presence of a member of its licensing executive team as an observer on the Microdrones Board of Directors.
Darmayan detailed the power of the collaboration. “Together, Microdrones and GE will lead the professional drone surveying industry and provide fully integrated systems for surveying, mapping, construction, inspection, precision agriculture, mining, and other industrial applications.”
Innovation and Expansion
The industrial focus of the entire GE industrial drone line will add an advantage for customers seeking high-end solutions. Heriard-Dubreuil: “The GE industrial drone line is modular, expandable, upgradeable, and simple to use in the production of high-quality geospatial data. This is a win for both GE and Microdrones, and most importantly, our mutual customers.”
Microdrones was selected after a rigorous selection process because they offer the best in technology leadership, market segment fit, technical capabilities, quality control, and customer satisfaction.
Distributors already see the partner-ships advantages. “The announcement that GE was partnering with Microdrones was a great boost to our business,” said Chris Mauldin, technology sales manager for AllTerra Central. “In a very competitive market, GE selecting Microdrones spoke volumes. We’ve always known Microdrones was a quality product but forming a partnership with such a well-known and respected company as GE adds some weight and legitimacy.”
The partnership retains the Microdrones workflow known as “plan, fly, process, visualize.” mdCockpit turns customer mission criteria into actionable planning and monitoring while allowing for real-time, tablet-controlled flight change and control. mdInfinity, a complete software suite, handles aerial data processing and visualizing of LiDAR and photogrammetry.
Both Microdrones and GE believe in continuous improvement. “On the outside, it looks like not so much has changed with the Microdrones platform,” Heriard-Dubreuil noted. “Inside, under the robust housing, we continuously update the electronics, the software, the motors and provide the most advanced drone surveying solution.”
Working jointly, the partnership will accelerate deployment of Microdrones survey equipment—updated for efficiency and safety for sectors such as power line inspection, forestry management, and more. Quality, support, and Microdrones hallmark “commitment to exceptional data collection and deliverables” will continue unabated, with users getting to predict and resolve their complex real-life issues, with the ultimate goal of adding value for their customers.
“GE is recognized globally as a leader in technology and development,” Heriard-Dubreuil said, “giving us an incredible opportunity to cultivate the growing UAV market by showcasing the complete and reliable mapping aerial technology from Microdrones to larger surveying companies, engineering firms, government agencies, and transportation departments.”
The bottom line is to allow an ever-increasing variety of professionals to work accurately, efficiently, and safely.
Heriard-Dubreuil added, “We provide the complete package for industrial users to access turnkey drone surveying solutions from day one.”
Flying Toward the Future
“This is a transformative event,” Heriard-Dubreuil said. “It confirms that we have become a global leader in our field, offering unrivaled, reliable, and value-creating solutions to our industrial customers.”
The sales network is both blending and augmenting its current success. Existing customers will retain their relationships with their trusted Microdrones sales managers. Billing and invoices will remain unchanged. Consequently, both distributors and customers can concentrate on what matters—offering trusted solutions that create mutual satisfaction and profitability.
At the same time, the partnership with GE will empower customers old and new. “Since the announcement,” Heriard-Dubreuil said, “we have added new distributors to our global network, increased our volume of sales, and developed more flexible pricing options in our Microdrones as a Service [mdaaS] sales model to help expand the market for the GE industrial drone line.”
Going forward, the two companies’ stated value propositions will cement their connection.
Heriard-Dubreuil spoke to that synergy. “I look forward to a very promising future,” he predicted, “as we all work together and offer a very powerful and trusted drone surveying solution to industrial professionals worldwide.”
To learn how you can add drone surveying products from the GE industrial drone line to your business, contact one of our sales managers today.