The aerospace and defense industry remains a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the urgent need for modernization and the growing importance of new technologies such as artificial intelligence and unmanned systems. Over 174,000 patents have been filed and granted in the aerospace and defense industry in the last three years alone, according to GlobalData’s report on Internet of Things in Aerospace, Defense & Security: Remote-controlled pick up drones.
But innovation is not always the same and does not follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their development takes the form of an S-shaped curve, reflecting their typical life cycle from early emergence to accelerated adoption before finally stabilizing and reaching maturity.
In order to understand where a particular innovation is on this journey, particularly those in the nascent and acceleration stages, it is important to understand the current level of their acceptance and the likely future evolution and impact they will have .
Over 180 innovations will shape the aerospace and defense industry
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the aerospace and defense industry using innovation intensity models based on over 262,000 patents, there are over 180 innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
In the emerging innovation phase, aircraft power train controls, remotely piloted drones and aircraft anti-collision systems are disruptive technologies that are in the early application stages and should be closely followed. UAV swarm control, lidar for vehicle collision avoidance, and satellite image smoothing techniques are some of the accelerating areas of innovation where adoption has steadily increased. Maturing areas of innovation include sensor-guided aiming aids and aircraft flight control systems, which are now firmly established in the industry.
Innovation S-Curve for Aerospace and Defense IoT
Remote-controlled pick-up drones are an important area of innovation in the Internet of Things
Remotely piloted drones are widely used to improve security at physical facilities and can be significantly less expensive than human presence or expensive camera systems. Remote-controlled drones can be used to secure military or industrial sites when needed, while specialized pick-up drones are capable of moving physical objects and can be used for commercial or military purposes.
GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activities across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are over 30 companies, including technology providers, established aerospace and defense companies, and emerging startups, engaged in the development and application of remote-controlled pick-up drones.
Key players in remote-controlled pick-up drones – a disruptive innovation in the aerospace and defense industry
“Application Diversity” measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent, and broadly classifies companies as either “niche” or “diversified” innovators.
“Geographical Scope” refers to the number of different countries in which each relevant patent is registered and reflects the breadth of intended geographic application, ranging from “global” to “local”.
The leading patent applicant in remote-controlled pick-up drones is Wing Aviation, an Alphabet subsidiary, which is currently developing several delivery solutions using pick-up drones. The company’s goal is to develop sustainable and scalable delivery ecosystems for the commercial market. Boeing is another prominent patent applicant in this field, having invested in UAVs with payload capacities up to 500 pounds designed for multiple military applications. Other major patent applicants in the industry include Tevel Aerobotics Technologies, Rakuten Group and Hood Technology.
In terms of application diversity, Indutrade is one of the leading providers, followed by Tevel Aerobotics Technologies and IBM. In terms of geographic reach, Tevel Aerobotics Technologies and Pearls of Wisdom Advanced Technologies are the leading companies.
While many companies are advancing this technology to make cheaper and faster delivery systems, Boeing’s development of military pick-up drones shows that the technology has dual uses and commercial advances are likely to impact the military market.
To better understand how the Internet of Things is disrupting the aerospace and defense industry, access GlobalData’s latest Thematic Research – Internet of Military Things thematic research report.
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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry information, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.
GlobalData’s patent analysis tracks patent applications and grants from official offices around the world. Text analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies in the world’s largest industries.