NMotion applies $10k to UAV-equipped first responders

By Emily Aasand | January 19, 2015

NMotion UAS LLC recently received $10,000 for its unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) public safety agencies project from Wichita State University’s Innovation Accelerator Shock Tank competition.

Companies submitted proposals and were evaluated based on the utilization of WSU’s research and facilities, advanced manufacturing processes, aviation research and development within the industry, technical merit, job growth forecast, and commercialization timeline. The contest began with 19 companies, seven of which received funding from the Kansas Department of Commerce.

“This funding will primarily go toward research and future developments such as data delivery systems and improving the efficiency of some of our payloads,” said John Martens, founder and CEO of NMotion UAS.

Martens was first introduced to the UAS industry through a former film business—a part-time job he had along with being a firefighter. He soon realized the legal ramifications and some of the gray areas that came with UASs in the film industry, and began looking for a more appropriate market for the new technology. Through his firefighting background, he saw the public safety market as a viable option, he said.

NMotion UAS was founded and is operated primarily by public safety professionals, some with military backgrounds. The goal of the company is to improve safety and situational awareness for the first responders, according to Martens.

“NMotion’s main niche in the industry is to be able to equip any public safety agency with lifesaving technology,” said Martens.

The Wichita, Kansas-based company began eight months ago and creates practical and job-specific platforms that are functional on the emergency scene. It also provides consulting on airframes, platforms and systems based up specific agency needs.

“We do an analysis on the agency—find some of their specific needs, particular hazards they may encounter, and then after that, if they’re interested in moving forward, we provide the manufacturing side and assembly,” said Martens. “We combine off-the-shelf products with custom payloads and sensors.”

NMotion also provides mission-critical scenario-based training, certificate of authorization consulting, as well as guidance with documentation specific to its systems and set ups.  

NMotion currently has UAVs in the final stages of research and development, and plans to add a fixed-wing aircraft later this year. “We’ve noticed that different agencies have different funds for different things and we want to offer something small to large,” Martens added. “At first we were aiming at the higher budgets but soon realized that 70 percent of fire departments are volunteer and that volunteers deserve a relevant and life-saving technology as well.”

Along with providing technology to agencies, NMotion has also spearheaded the first Wichita UAS collaborative group—a group for different individuals from the community who have different skill sets and abilities to collaborate and develop projects that are legal, ethical and that improve the economy.

“It’s new, but it’s a great opportunity to start something that’s innovative and that can potentially bring more jobs to our local area,” said Martens. “There are so many pockets of talent in our local area so we figured why not collaborate and bring some neat stuff to the table.”

 

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