Fri. Dec 2nd, 2022

The drone technology is saving businesses time.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The founder of Lucid Drone Technologies, Andrew Ashur, started the company in 2018. He told WCNC Charlotte he started it after seeing window washers on a platform on a windy day.

“It was a pretty windy day, and you saw this platform just get caught in the wind start slamming against the side of the building,” Ashur remembered. “And you saw these window washers hanging onto the rails for dear life. And I remember just thinking to myself, how could we find a way to leverage technology to make this a safer, more efficient job?”

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An economics and Spanish major at Davidson College at the time, Ashur started learning how to build an industrial drone.

“[It] could physically affect the world around it by doing some kind of productive, labor intensive type of task, like cleaning,” he said.

At the height of the pandemic, the facility team at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta heard about the company.

“They’ve got a beautiful facility but have a lot of seats that need disinfecting back at the time,” Ashur said. “They were like, ‘How are we going to do this efficiently?’ Because they hosted a lot of events. And they said, ‘We know you build drones for tasks like cleaning. Think you can disinfect seats?'”

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Ashur said the easiest way to think about the operation is a drone tethered by a hose to a cleaning system on the ground.

“A lot of our customers don’t have drone flying experience prior to getting one of these,” Brian Queitzsch, an engineer at Lucid Drone Technologies, said “So we want it to be as easy to use as possible.”

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Ashur said regular use would require an FAA certification. He said companies tend to re-train current staff or hire a drone pilot for projects that require a drone rental.

Lucid also caught the eye of equipment rental company Sunbelt and formally launched a partnership earlier this month.

He said they focus on buildings that are 10 stories and below. Pricing packages for rentals start at $29,000. Ashur said companies report profit in the tens of thousands of dollars.

“The big thing is they’re replacing really inefficient and expensive equipment,” Ashur said.

Contact Jane Monreal at jmonreal@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.  

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