The multibillion-dollar global drone market is growing rapidly but drones are incredibly loud, and this is a significant problem for most commercial and recreational applications. Dotterel Technologies, a New Zealand based company, has developed innovative noise-reduction and clean audio recording solutions for drones to solve this problem. Dotterel Technologies is uniquely positioned to become the industry standard for the next generation of drones.

Drone applications include mapping and surveying, agriculture, mining, real estate, search and rescue, deliveries, filmmaking, oil and gas, research, power utilities, construction, infrastructure, safety and security with many more potential uses. However, drone noise limits use:

  • in residential areas, for deliveries, and aerial photography for real-estate, filmmaking and inspection of construction and infrastructure
  • in rural areas where livestock can be distressed by noise
  • in audio detection, such as in locating survivors in search and rescue missions
  • where subjects of nature research and feature films are startled by noise
  • where stealth is required for security and defence applications
  • in urban mobility eg Uber is looking at using drones to transport people

Dotterel Technologies solves the drone noise problem with its innovative, first-to-market, noise reduction and audio recording technology.

Most noise emitted from drones is generated by propellers. Dotterel’s technology utilises innovative sound-absorbing materials to produce lightweight propeller shrouds and low noise propellers. It has also developed innovative technology including light-weight microphone arrays and signal processing algorithms to filter drone rotor noise from target audio sources to provide clean audio transmissions and recordings in real time.

Dotterel’s revolutionary technology significantly extends the uses of drones. With the rapid growth in the applications of drones and other aerial vehicles, legislation is catching up all around the world and it is likely that noise-mitigation will become mandatory.

Being first to market with highly defensible technology, Dotterel is in a strong position to become the global industry standard for the next generation of drones; for manufacturers, enterprises, end users and legislators.

Why Jelix invested

Large growing addressable market

  • Goldman Sachs have forecast a $100bn global market opportunity for drones and related services by 2020[1]
  • Dotterel’s innovative noise solutions have strong application in all three major aerial vehicle market segments (consumer, commercial and defence) as well as non-aerial vehicle markets (e.g. audio/sound)
  • Global regulatory requirements will accelerate drone manufacturers’ adoption as they catch up with usage applications and react to consumer demands

Innovative solutions for the global drone noise problem

  • Game changing noise reduction and audio solutions that are far more effective than competitors
  • Dotterel won a “Most Innovative Product’ award at the National Association of Broadcaster (NAB) Show in Las Vegas, the largest screen-industry trade show in the world

Highly defensible deep technology solution

  • Patent protection of deep tech -particularly of high tech materials
  • R&D would take years to reproduce
  • Technical support from strong academic and commercial partnerships

Initial traction indicates product market fit

  • Engaged with big players in media and defence
    • Perhaps the biggest US film production company, a household name, uses Dotterel technologies and this is attracting interest from other entertainment industry enterprises
    • Dotterel has recently commenced work with one of the social media giants
    • A US drone manufacturer confirmed to Jelix its commitment to entering into a substantial JV with Dotterel

Track record in commercialising deep tech/intellectual property

Dotterel founders were integral to the success of LanzaTech, a biofuels startup which raised over $200m (including from Khosla Ventures, Qiming Venture Mitsui and Siemens capital) to commercialise its technology in China, US and Europe