Ondas Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: ONDS) has reached agreement to acquire American Robotics, the first drone company to receive Federal Aviation Authority beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) approval.
Ondas will pay approximately $70.6 million in a combination of cash and equity securities for American Robotics. The transaction is subject to closing conditions, including approval by the Ondas stockholders of the equity securities to be issued to American Robotics stockholders, and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021.
“We are excited to bring American Robotics into the Ondas fold,” said Eric Brock, chairman and CEO of Ondas. “At the end of the day, the drone industry’s product is data, not aircraft. The drone is the ultimate data-gathering edge [of computing] device for mission-critical operations, solving a huge pain point for Ondas’ industrial and government customers and ecosystem partners. American Robotics’ full stack IP portfolio is a complete system enabling Ondas to turn these pain points into growth opportunities fueled by more rich data collection.”
American Robotics’ Scout system will be integrated into Ondas’ FullMAX platform, Ondas said. FullMAX is a standards-based networking solution designed to enable enhanced data communications for field area operations.
Ondas said that integration will help in digitizing the physical world, enabling businesses in many sectors, including energy, agriculture and transportation, to receive better data to make more informed decisions on physical assets. “Drones are a vehicle to better capture this data across large field area operations and with American Robotics, Ondas will provide users the capability to collect and analyze data through continuous, automated drone operations,” the company said in a release.
“It’s the perfect time for American Robotics to join forces with Ondas as we bring Scout system to the market and scale customer deployments,” said Reese Mozer, co-founder and CEO of American Robotics. “Ondas’ deep experience and relationships in our target customer markets in addition to its next-generation industrial networking capabilities will be incredibly helpful as we penetrate the large markets we address. We see substantial customer demand and are ready to deliver systems across an impressive pipeline of blue-chip industrial customers in addition to new customer relationships via Ondas.”
The Scout system includes an autonomous drone with advanced imaging payloads; the ScoutBase, a ruggedized base station that houses and charges the Scout and collects and transmits data; and the ScoutView, an analytics and front-end software package.
American Robotics, a Marlborough, Massachusetts-based firm, received FAA approval in early January for BVLOS drone operation. The approval allows the company to operate drones even when the operator can’t see the drone, up to 1,000 miles away.