In the middle of a large valley in the state of Colorado in the central United States, a drone called Hera took off and hovered in the sky, showing off the power of a multi-purpose drone.
Hera can carry up to 15kg, seems cumbersome but is taken out from a compact personal backpack, assembled within a minute, making the audience admire.
Directly introducing the Hera as the “father” – Dr. Luong Viet Quoc, founder and CEO of RealTime Robotics Inc (RtR) from Vietnam.
Standing next to the Hera, Mr. Quoc introduced the outstanding advantages when this is a compact drone that can lift heavy loads and can fly for nearly an hour.
“Too excellent, so excellent,” said Mr. VonLunen – CEO of RMUS Company (USA) – exclaims. When Hera started up, the four spinning propellers blew away the dust and headed straight up to the sky like an eagle.
Following Hera, Mr. Von Lunen recognized that the drone was very special when it was “launched” in Vietnam, with a large payload and high mobility.
Previously, RMUS had ordered Mr. Quoc’s business to manufacture hardware and software for specialized cameras to check for oil and gas leaks. When the order was completed, RMUS was surprised to hear that RtR was preparing to offer a drone with many special features, so he could not wait to see Hera take off.
Right after the show in the US, Mr. Quoc and his associates received the sweet fruit after six years of “burning” hundreds of billions of dong into the project. The partner nodded to place the first order with a value of nearly half a million USD.
More specifically, the partner will distribute Hera in the US market with the starting price of each unit up to 58,000 USD, equivalent to 1.4 billion VND.
In the last days of 2022, the first commercial products exported abroad, set a milestone with RtR: Hera began to “fan” money.
After going to Europe to introduce the product, the night flight just landed, the next morning, director Luong Viet Quoc went to the company, and the engineers continued to struggle to perfect the features of Hera.
A house next to the High-Tech Park of Ho Chi Minh City is designated by RtR Company as “headquarters” with each floor being a department including research and development (R&D), invention, mechanics, AI (intelligence). artificial intelligence)… with nearly 60 engineers and employees. Right on the ground floor, products and machines are packed from the yard to the house, like a mechanical workshop.
Standing to check the drone that had just brought back from the exhibition, Phi Duy Quang – RtR’s chief mechanical engineer – said that most of the mechanical details were tinkered with by the company’s young engineers to bring out the best. superiority for Hera.
For Hera to have the outstanding shape and features as it is now, it has been a long journey with many drawings being torn off, dozens of sample products being left out.
Power supplies for drones can be bought with commercially available batteries, but with the goal of achieving longer flight times, Vietnamese engineers have to work hard to produce a power supply with a maximum capacity. medium has optimal shape.
Focusing on perfecting products according to orders is a priority for RtR Photo: CT
Mr. Quoc is very pleased that with just one simple operation, the user can install the battery and Hera can fly 15 kilometers away, “carrying” heavy objects.
To make the drone smarter, the company’s AI department has programmed and developed software so that the inanimate machine can “obey” the operator.
The Hera drone has a very mobile feature that can handle dozens of jobs in the fields of geography, security and defense, agriculture … and especially rescue. As an example, Mr. Quoc mentioned that the Vietship 01 shipwreck in the sea of Cua Viet (Quang Tri) in 2020 causing both the crew and the rescue force to be stuck on the ship in the middle of the storm is a situation where a drone is needed. Hera can fly in the rain with a level 7 wind, carrying life jackets, drinking water, food from the mainland, directing the ship in trouble and then lowering the altitude to drop it.
Especially on the body of the drone is fitted with loudspeakers and headlights at night so that people in distress can hear and know the rescue plan, and people on the shore can also see the health status of the victims.
“When installing a thermal camera, the drone can again assist in the military and security when it can detect and track moving objects below,” Quoc said.
Looking back on the arduous journey, at times as difficult as standing on the brink, he also had to ask himself “to go or to stop” on the path of starting a business.
For most startups, the barriers to business survival are finance, personnel, product, and output. Many startups around the world go bankrupt even after having commercialized products.
The company 3D Robotics in the US “burning” $ 100 million to make drones has also suffered bankruptcy because its features are not outstanding enough to compete in the market.
Mr. Quoc also had to raise capital from relatives and friends with his personal prestige and belief that RtR would make “corn and potatoes” a Vietnamese technology product. Finance is one thing, building a team of 60 young engineers full of passion for creativity is even more difficult.
Mr. Quoc said he was very proud that investors not only poured capital into the product, but also devoted themselves to supporting young and intelligent engineers who were eager to prove their capabilities. When the company “has enough wings”, he will continue to raise capital from investment funds, the “sharks” to have more resources to “fly” higher in the world market.
Mr. Quoc turned on his laptop and showed us a map of drone manufacturing countries around the world, many of the leading countries in technology do not have names. Dinh Ninh said: “In 2023, Vietnamese people can be proud when RtR will plant the first red flag with a yellow star on the world map of drones”.
In the last days of 2022, RtR received more joy after director Luong Viet Quoc directly brought Hera to Europe to perform with a military company operated by former Israeli military pilots.
This business is looking for drones for reconnaissance, attack and rescue missions to equip special forces.
After researching, the partner offered to cooperate in exclusive distribution of Hera in the EU, and also wanted to invest in RtR with strict requirements for Hera to operate in electronic warfare conditions, surpassing the system. enemy air defense.
“We will continue to research to produce even more optimal Hera cars, meeting each customer’s special requirements,” Mr. Quoc said.
RtR also introduced products at the first Vietnam International Defense Exhibition 2022 held in Hanoi, targeting the Vietnamese market in the field of national security and agriculture.
With domestic products, Vietnam can equip superior drones and more importantly, proactively supply as well as ensure more security.