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20 Things You Didn't Know about Reliable Robotics


Are you familiar with a company called Reliable Robotics? Chances are, you've heard at least one or two things about them. They've really been making waves in all the best ways possible lately. If you haven't heard about them yet, that's likely to change in the very near future. Suffice it to say that they are on the precipice of some of the most exciting technology that has become available in the last 50 years, perhaps even the last century. If you're anxious to know more, here are 20 more things about them.

1. They’re trying to revolutionize the world of flight

They have a rather unique goal, which is to completely revolutionize the world of flight. That might seem like a bit of a tall order, but that doesn't stop them from going after their goals on a daily basis. When it's all said and done, they know exactly what they want to accomplish and they're working diligently both day and night in order to make sure that it becomes a reality. For them, it's not that much different than understanding what motivated the people who were the original pioneers of flight. It's always been about discovery. As it turns out, it still is.

2. They are currently developing pilotless aircraft

Their goal is to develop aircraft that are capable of flying without a pilot on board. That sounds absolutely terrifying, to say the least. This is especially true if you've grown up with traditional aircraft and you're not as open to the idea of a pilotless aircraft as some people might be. Nevertheless, their goal is to create a system of aircraft that can be flown remotely from a control center located on the ground. If they have their way, aircraft with pilots on board will become a thing of the past.

3. Their goal is make virtually all aircraft fully automated

Their end goal is to make virtually every aircraft fully automated. Granted, this isn't something that is going to happen any time in the near future. In fact, it's likely to take a very long time to get to this point. However, they are making remarkable strides in this particular arena. In fact, they're progressing much faster than most people would have ever dreamed.

4. They are working on licensure for pilotless cargo aircraft

They are currently working on licensing that will allow them to commercially pilot cargo aircraft remotely. Once it goes through, the company will theoretically be able to incorporate their software into various cargo aircraft that are currently flown in the traditional manner. Their updated system will then allow their own pilots to remotely fly the aircraft from their control centers, effectively eliminating the need for an on-board pilot. According to the company, the goal is to save money, streamline operations and make it easier for aircraft to get from place to place because you don't have to cancel a flight if a pilot can't be found.

5. After that, they want to focus on passenger airplanes

Once they complete the work that they're currently doing on cargo aircraft, they want to start focusing on various types of passenger aircraft. It might be a long time before people start flying on airliners that don't have a human pilot on board, but they could potentially reach that goal at some point in the future. In fact, it's likely that this is indeed the direction things are going to be moving for the foreseeable future. At the moment, their goal is on more concise types of operations such as cargo flights and Charter operations.

6. They aren’t creating new aircraft

A lot of people that have previously been involved in these types of tests wanted to create an entirely new aircraft as opposed to using something that already exists. This is where the major difference occurs between Reliable Robotics and practically everybody else in a similar market. Reliable Robotics is simply modifying aircraft that already exist as opposed to building something that is completely new. This not only speeds up the process, but also reduces the overhead associated with such a program dramatically. In short, it makes it much more possible to see an appreciable level of success.

7. They’ve already completed a series of successful tests

For the last four years, they've been working on various test flights with two separate aircraft, a Cessna 172 and then later, a Cessna 208. The first is a high-wing, four-seat, single-engine aircraft that is frequently used by private pilots and the second is a larger cargo plane, although it's still relatively small in size. So far, their tests have been wildly successful.

8. The company was founded in the summer of 2017

It's interesting to think that a company that was only founded in June of 2017 has already made this much progress with something that many people would have considered to be impossible. In reality, the idea of pilotless aircraft has been around for a long time, but most people were afraid to take the leap because of the obvious safety concerns associated with such a thing. However, there is a big difference between Reliable Robotics and other companies that want to make fully automated aircraft. Aside from the fact that they're not building an entirely new aircraft for their procedures, the other big difference is that the aircraft do have pilots. They are remotely piloted by someone in a control center, as previously mentioned. At the moment, they are not fully automated in the sense that an on-board computer does everything in lieu of a human being. This increases the safety factor a great deal, making it more likely that various companies will be willing to hear what they have to say.

9. They made their first modifications on a Cessna 172

As previously mentioned, their very first modifications were completed on a Cessna 172. They've always been very driven and that focus has paid off over the years. When they were founded in the summer of 2017, everyone thought that it would be some time before they started making any actual progress. Needless to say, they have surprised a lot of people.

10. It only took three months to get their first plane in the air

As it turns out, it only took them three months to get their first plane in the air. The Cessna 172 that they had started modifying made its first flight in September of 2017, just a few short months after they first opened their doors. This is the type of progress that they have been steadily making since they began operations and it's something that still astonishes a lot of people who are familiar with these types of modifications. In fact, it's nothing short of staggering to see that much progress in such a short amount of time.

11. Their first totally automated flight happened a year after they started

If you think that the company has had a tendency to cut corners where safety is involved in order to make progress, think again. They might have completed their first flight within three months of opening their doors, but it took them an entire year to complete a fully automated flight where they could get an aircraft off the ground, fly it and then bring it back safely using their system. That's because they wanted to move slowly as opposed to trying to move too quickly and have something go wrong during one of their tests.

12. Nine months later, they were able to fly without a pilot

Even after they completed that first gate to gate fully automated flight, they still had a pilot on board the aircraft just in case something went wrong for another nine months of additional testing. It was only in September of 2019 that they finally performed an entire flight that was fully automated without the safety factor of having a human pilot onboard. Once they achieved that, they moved on to doing the same thing with the Cessna 208, something that has also been just as successful as their tests with the Cessna 172.

13. They just received $100 million in funding

The company just received a staggering $100 million in funding. This additional funding will allow the company to take their operations to the next level, something that is crucial in the overall success of their endeavors. Despite the fact that people may not always agree on the idea of automated flight, they have a rather impressive number of financial backers who are rooting for them to succeed in every way possible.

14. They plan to add more people to their already impressive team

With the additional funds, they plan to add more people to their team as well as ratchet up the work that they've been doing on their software that can be used to automate flight. These are two important aspects of achieving success. It also gives them the opportunity to create a dedicated research and development department which can work on potential solutions for the future, such as creating all new aircraft that can be used for these types of endeavors as opposed to modifying the ones that already exist. The key is that they have to find a way to do it in a cost-effective manner.

15. They plan to fully automate the entire process eventually

Eventually, they plan to fully automate the entire process from takeoff to landing, while still having someone remotely watching the progress of the flight from a control center in order to intervene if the need arises. Unless something goes wrong with the flight itself, the entire thing would be fully automated with the software doing everything from start to finish.

16. They’re working closely with the FAA

Every person who has ever piloted an aircraft is all-too familiar with the Federal Aviation Administration, more commonly referred to as the FAA. They are the federal organization responsible for licensing pilots at all levels. They’re also not afraid to hand out what they consider a fair amount of punishment if someone gets out of line. They’re often dreaded, even feared. However, anybody that wants to do anything at all with regard to flight has to work with them. As such, Reliable Robotics has been working closely with them for several years now. Despite the fact that the FAA can be more than difficult in a number of circumstances, they have been working closely with the company, monitoring their activities while simultaneously licensing a number of experimental aircraft that allows them to conduct their test flights.

17. NASA is involved, too

They're not the only ones that have been involved in this process. NASA has been heavily involved as well, providing much of the technology that has been used to create these autonomous systems.

18. A lot of cargo companies are quite interested in what they are doing

It might come as a surprise, but many cargo companies would relish the opportunity to use this technology because it would reduce their operating costs considerably. Pilots are easily the most expensive factor in any flight. Being able to reduce those costs could be life-changing for a lot of cargo companies.

19. They have excellent leadership

The leadership at Reliable Robotics is second to none. In fact, they have individuals in place who have previously worked for both Tesla and SpaceX. That’s definitely saying something in and of itself. It also proves that the company has the experience to get the job done.

20. They say they are only on the cusp of what can be achieved

They claim that they are only getting started. Who knows, maybe they will one day be responsible for airliners that are completely autonomous. It might take some time to achieve such a feat, but that certainly doesn’t mean that it can’t be achieved. Reliable Robotics seems to be in the best position to make something like this a reality. They’ve already proven that the technology exists and that it’s reliable. As far as they’re concerned, it’s just a matter of expanding things until they get to that point.

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Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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