Revolutionizing Drone Automation with DBOX and the Power of 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS

Autonomous drone technology provider goes from concept to fully functional prototype in 3 months by leveraging the resources and tools in the SOLIDWORKS for Startups program.

Challenge

Develop an innovative solution to eliminate the bottleneck of swapping out batteries in drones, to create completely autonomous drones which will replace batteries automatically to enhance efficiency and expand drone utility.

Solution

Implement SOLIDWORKS® Premium 3D product development software in conjunction with modeling, design, data management, simulation, collaboration, and communication solutions from the 3DEXPERIENCE® Works portfolio, which operate on the cloud-based 3DEXPERIENCE platform—including 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Premium, 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Simulation Designer, Collaborative Designer for SOLIDWORKS, Collaborative Industry Innovator, and 3DSwymer roles—as part of the 3DEXPERIENCE Works for Startups Program.

Results

  • Greatly shorten design cycle from sketches to functional designs
  • Reduced the number of physical prototypes needed
  • Integrated flow simulation to reduce design errors
  • Seamless integration for data management

In the dynamic and rapidly evolving sector of autonomous drone technology, DBOX has redefined the capabilities and deployment of drones with its Drone in a Box solution. Co-founder and CEO Dr. Linas Gelažankas is at the heart of DBOX’s success. “Our company’s journey began with large-scale photogrammetry projects (measuring physical objects from photographs), and we quickly realized that although the drones fly autonomously 90 percent of the time, we still had to be there on site and swap batteries manually.”

Truly Autonomous Drones

The limitations inherent in the manual operation and maintenance of enterprise-level drones, particularly for large-scale projects, drove the inception of DBOX. Despite the autonomous flying capabilities of drones, the need to swap drone batteries presented a bottleneck that DBOX sought to eliminate. The goal was to automate drone operations to enhance efficiency and expand drone utility.

“DBOX is a game changer in drone automation,” emphasizes Gelažankas. “We have created a network of DBOXes that are scattered around cities on rooftops. Each of these boxes can automatically send a drone for a mission. In fact, the whole network of drones can be controlled from anywhere in the world using an internet connection with just one press of a button.”

Related Resources

SOLIDWORKS has played a key role in our development journey. By joining the 3DEXPERIENCE® Works Startup program, we gain access to a comprehensive suite of tools, ranging from 3D modeling, printed circuit board design, and flow simulation.

Dr. Linas Gelažankas
CEO

The DBOX is like a garage that protects a drone from harsh conditions. The box also maintains a temperature that keeps the batteries operating at peak capacity regardless of the weather. Applications include city infrastructure inspection, emergency response, agriculture, 3D modeling, and more.

Accelerating the Development Process

SOLIDWORKS® was integral to the design and prototyping phases of the DBOX project. “SOLIDWORKS has played a key role in our development journey,” reports Gelažankas. “By joining the 3DEXPERIENCE® Works Startup program, we gain access to a comprehensive suite of tools, ranging from 3D modeling, printed circuit board design, and flow simulation.”

The company engineers also used the resources of the 3DEXPERIENCE Works Excellence Center, which enabled them to rapidly evolve the DBOX from initial sketches, to 3D models of the prototype, to the final product. 

Pushing the Boundaries

As DBOX continues to expand the boundaries of what is possible in autonomous drone operations, its journey offers valuable insights into the impact of product development technology on solving real-world challenges.

Gelažankas concludes, “Without the 3D modeling tools, it would be a nightmare to build such a system. SOLIDWORKS really allows you to skip the iteration process. You can go from your idea to 2D drawing, to 3D drawing, to the assembly, and once you’re happy with the assembly and everything, you can go directly to manufacturing.”

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