Breaking new technical and regulatory ground

Humankind is on the cusp of another huge breakthrough. Unmanned aerial vehicles (or drones) will soon transform the lives of people, everywhere. They will impact how we live, how we work, how we travel – and they will contribute to more than half of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals: helping improve critical infrastructure, keeping workers safe, and preserving our planet.

 

Over the past 15 years, the drone industry has laid the foundations for this breakthrough: at small scale, drones have proven their capacity to increase productivity, efficiency and safety in industry and to help our emergency services keep us safe and well. But that was just the start. The real change is yet to come.

 

Until now, drone operations have been very difficult and expensive to scale. In order to keep operations safe, aviation regulators have required drone pilots to be onsite with their drone. This has made scaling difficult because more drones means a larger, more geographically dispersed team of pilots, which means a big headache trying to maintain safety, quality and consistency (particularly in a context of rapidly changing technology and regulations). And it has made scaling expensive: because this one pilot to one drone model has almost zero economies of scale.

 

We founded sees.ai to address this problem.

 

Now we have earned the trust of the UK aviation regulator and we are building a world-class team that shares the short-term aim of unlocking the use of drones at scale for industry – and the long-term ambition to unleash the full potential of unmanned flight.

 

And we are well prepared to address this challenge. Our founding team has a deep understanding of industry and enterprise and an extremely strong track record of developing innovative technologies and bringing them to market to win in the most competitive of arenas, including in financial services and Formula 1.

 

sees.ai and CAA logo side by side

Mar 2021: First in UK to secure authorisation to fly routine BVLOS operations

We are the first company in the UK to secure authorisation from the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to trial a concept for routine Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations. The authorisation enables sees.ai to fly BVLOS at nominated sites without needing to pre-authorise each flight. By removing this limitation, this permission fires the starting gun for the next phase of growth of the drone industry, during which the potential of BVLOS to significantly increase operational effectiveness and efficiency will be considered. Read more about it in latest news.

Dec 2019: Selected into the UK Government Pathfinder

The UK Government Drones Pathfinder aims to drive progress in unmanned aviation technology and regulation, enabling industry and the public sector to fully exploit the market in different industry sectors. The programme is run under the governance of the Department for Transport (DfT), the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Connected Places Catapult.

 

In December 2019 we became the third entity selected into the Pathfinder with our project to develop and demonstrate the viability of a new approach to flying Local BVLOS operations in controlled environments. There are still only four entities selected into the Pathfinder.

CAA Regulatory Sandbox image

Sep 2019: Selected into the CAA Sandbox

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Regulatory Sandbox was created in April 2019 to facilitate innovation and exploration in aviation in line with CAA core principles of safety, security and consumer protection.

 

In September 2019 we became the seventh entity selected into the CAA Sandbox following our application seeking regulatory approval for routine ‘beyond visual line of sight’ (BVLOS) operations in industrial and urban environments.

 

In March 2021, we became the first company in the UK to secure authorisation for routine Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations. There are still only eight entities selected into the sandbox, where we sit alongside Amazon and Boeing.

Leadership team

Our founding team are ex-Apple, Arup, CERN, McLaren, Oracle Racing and multi billion dollar hedge funds. Between us we’ve won one Formula 1 World Championship, two America’s Cups, we’ve led the team that designed and built the first hybrid engine ever used in a supercar (the McLaren P1) – and headed up the European team at Eton Park, a hedge fund with $14bn assets under management. 

 

We are experts in robotics & autonomy; control systems & dynamics; GPS-denied navigation; robust scaleable software architecture, embedded systems; and high-risk operations.

John McKenna photo

John McKenna

CEO
Meet John

 

Previously, Managing Director, BeTomorrow UK; Investment Advisor to Makani Power (now inside Google X); Group Commercial Director, OC Sport (joined as 6th member of staff, acquired ten years later by Telegramme Group with 100+ staff); Consultant at Marakon Associates; and Structural Engineer at ARUP. John brings 18+ years of commercial expertise to the team working in high-growth start-ups and private companies.

Eduardo Aldaz Carroll

CTO
Meet Eduardo

 

Previously, Manager Touch & Sensing Innovation Team at Apple Cupertino; 2x Winner of the America’s Cup with Oracle Racing (personally designed the mechatronic daggerboard control system that contributed to Oracle winning the Cup in 2013); Electronic & Controls Engineer at CERN (European Laboratory for Particle Physics).

 

Eduardo has 15+ years experience in electronic system design and implementation, with in-depth knowledge of robotics, embedded systems, hardware and software design.

Richard Hopkirk photo

Richard Hopkirk

VP Engineering
Meet Richard

 

Previously, Technical Director at Ben Ainslie Racing (led team of 45 engineers, setting technical strategy and delivering the America’s Cup race boat); Hybrid Function Group Manager at McLaren (led the team that designed and delivered the McLaren P1 hybrid powertrain); Race Team Tactician at McLaren Racing (responsible for comms and tactical execution on­track for Lewis Hamilton in the 2007­ – 2009 F1 seasons); Powertrain Simulation & Testing at McLaren F1. Richard is passionate about delivering innovative engineering and the effective management of teams to achieve this.

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Damien Charveriat

VP Software
Meet Damien

 

Previously, Simulation Expert at Ineos Team UK (led the team developing the physics simulator used to optimise design of the America’s Cup race boat); Currency Portfolio Manager, Hutchin Hill Capital (hedge fund with $4bn assets under management – led a team of developers designing a bespoke risk analysis and market screen for large scale systems); Head of European Derivatives, Eton Park (hedge fund with $14bn assets under management). Damien is a software expert with 15+ years experience delivering complex systems designed to give the user a clear competitive advantage.

Amanda McKenna photo

Amanda McKenna

VP Customer
Meet Amanda

 

Previously, Co-Founder and Partner at Zone, the largest independent digital agency in the UK prior to its acquisition by Cognizant in November 2017. Zone is a customer experience agency with deep expertise in strategy, technology and content & experiences. The agency’s 300-strong multi-disciplinary team creates award-winning customer experiences for some of the biggest brands in the world. Amanda is passionate about human-centred design, helping translate user insight into digital experiences that customers value and enjoy.

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