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Rent-A-Drone Service Also An Educator

Boston-based drone software startup, Fly4.me, wants to connect commercial pilots with individuals or companies in need of aerial imagery or data capture via unmanned aircraft systems. in essence, they connect pilots to end-user clients.
By Luke Geiver | June 25, 2015

Boston-based drone software startup, Fly4.me, wants to connect commercial pilots with individuals or companies in need of aerial imagery or data capture via unmanned aircraft systems. The company officially launched its website last week after receiving its U.S. Federal Aviation Administration section 333 exemption to operate commercially in April. Through the website, Adam Kersnowski, co-founder, and his team can match UAV pilots with interested clients ranging from wedding planners to large real estate firms looking for overhead images of a large complex soon-to-be for sale. The Boston Globe has covered the small firm already, and Popular Science calls the company a rent-a-drone service similar to Uber. In three days, the company received more than 140 pilot applications.

The unique business model is simple. A prospective client in need of drone usage posts a job description on the website after logging in, i.e.: Aerial imagery needed for a large wedding. Once verified through its internal criteria system, Fly4.me gives UAS pilots the ability to post job estimates for certain jobs. The pilot is then chosen by the client, the operation is performed for the client and the pilot is reimbursed by Fly4.me. After only one week, a few jobs have been posted, and a golf course in the area has already set-up a flight with a pilot to take 3D imagery.

When we talked to Kersnowski, a theme we’ve seen many times before with other UAV firms large and small was brought up. While the Boston team works to grow its commercial reach, add more platforms to its 333, add participating pilots and put to use its data packaging abilities, the company is working to educate the general public about the merits of UAV use. Parts of those efforts are fulfilled by ensuring its pilots are safe and the company is operating under the proper guidelines. “As the general public’s education level progresses,” Kersnowski said, “we want to make sure we do things by the book all the time.”

The company has also had to hold several brainstorming meetings with potential UAS clients. The meetings have helped the potential clients to better understand how UAVs may or may not provide a positive impact to day-to-day operations or certain work functions.

While the company grows and more entities—pilots and users of the system—become affiliated with the offering and/or use it, the Boston team continues to focus on its additional services. Data captured during flight can be tweaked, edited or repackaged by the team for the end-user. In the case of the golf course project, the pilot’s images will be stitched together by a third party 3D mapping provider before the data package is delivered to the golf course.

The team also hopes the FAA’s pilot regulations will ease. The company is seeing a massive interest from the pilot community as it looks to add pilots able to fly in its system. Although the company is based in and currently focused on serving the Boston area, it has already received pilot interest from California. If it does the job we all need to do, educate, then projects performed in California are soon to come.