Company Name: Wonder RoboticsCompany HQ: IsraelTeam Size: 12Focus: Autonomous solution for Drone and eVTOLInterview with:Idan Shimon, Co-Founder and CEOOr Epstein, Co-Founder and CBO
Tell us about your company:
Wonder Robotics is revolutionizing Drone autonomy! We are aiming to be a world leader in vision-based autonomous solutions for Drones and eVTOL, and to provide complete 360-degree awareness–exactly like Tesla’s autonomous capabilities for cars.
Wonder Robotics’s first product to market focuses on the most critical phase of commercial drone services: low-altitude missions, vertical awareness, ground clearance, and smarter precision landing. WonderLand is our groundbreaking product for the commercial drone industry, as well as for the advance air mobility/urban air mobility market. It utilizes innovative technology to provide affordable and autonomous services, and makes commercial drones safer and more reliable with less crew around the service.
When and how did your company start?
We started the company at the end of 2019, just when the pandemic hit. But the idea and the strategy started years before. The founding team all have decades of drone experience, so the market’s urgent needs were in front of our eyes for a long time.
Where did the idea for your startup come from?
The company’s idea resulted from the founders delivering a unique drone solution to a customer in their previous workplace (homeland security related). The drone was carrying a heavy payload with limited endurance. The end-user asked for the drone to have a safe, autonomous landing on the target area, allowing for extended operations time. While looking for such a solution, the founders realized that not only did such a solution not exist but that once developed, such technology had virtually unlimited potential to be sold across a broad spectrum of industries. The founders then took a leap of faith, and Wonder Robotics was launched shortly after that.
Who is your ideal customer?
Our primary “go to market” customers are drone service providers. They need autonomy for making their service affordable, reliable, and safer…and eventually certified. We are also talking to OEMs – drone manufacturers and end users who highly appreciate our technology value.
What can we expect from your company in the near future?
Our goal, after penetrating the drone market with the WonderLand vertical autonomy family of products, is to gradually expand its capabilities to 360-degree vision-based autonomy solutions–not only for drones–as this level of “visual awareness” is a requirement for the UAM/AAM market and eVTOL (flying cars) platforms. Wonder Robotics’ mission is to make uncrewed (drones) commercial services more affordable using smarter autonomous solutions.
Why are you excited about GENIUS NY?
After being in the program for a few months, we can honestly say it feels like we are part of a small family. Everyone is very supportive and encouraging, and it’s obvious that GENIUS NY wants us all to be successful. There is phenomenal synergy between the GNY past and present cohort, so we genuinely believe something significant is happening here for the U.S. drone market. It is truly the next Silicon Valley of drones! Wonder Robotics is privileged to be a part of the drone revolution initiated by GNY. Honestly, it came at the right time, as our fast-growing number of U.S. customers and partners expect us to be close to them, helping them with training and providing critical support, while scaling their services nationwide.
What are you most looking forward to while staying in Syracuse?
We love The Tech Garden people; the facility is excellent! We love the unique drone-friendly ecosystem GENIUS NY built with CenterState CEO; we look forward to collaborating with some of the drone organizations in the ecosystem, like NUAIR, Griffiss International Airport, and Syracuse Hancock International Airport. For an international drone company, it is the perfect place at the ideal time to build our future.
What will you do with the GENIUS funds?
The market needs Wonder Robotics technology now! It will create a new reality for drone service providers, making their services safer, more reliable, and more cost-effective for everyone to use.
We need to support our customers’ scaling. One of our customers, Walmart, will operate hundreds of drones next year. We are building a U.S. integration lab and operation, support, and training center for our growing community of customers. The goal is also to grow our sales in the U.S. and European markets, which are the fastest growing. We will engage the FAA and the industry market influencers to have a clear technology validation process and, eventually, the road for certification of an autonomous sub-system for drones and eVTOLS. We continue investing to make our product the best of its kind in the world by getting instant feedback from our customers about their use cases. Strategically, $1 million will help us move our high-volume production line to Syracuse.