Hi, I’m Robert Morris, founder of TerrAvion. TerrAvion is a new company, based in Livermore 40 minutes East of here. We deliver a service, based on drone technology, which allows specialty crop growers to increase yields.I am going to talk about how the military’s experience adopting drones points to the opportunities and pitfalls in civilian adoption of UAS.
Here is me, with my platoon sergeant and ops sergeant, on my airfield in Ghazni, Afghanistan. This was my first job out of college, I led the Army’s First RQ-7B platoon in Afghanistan.
My aircraft then was the RQ-7B “Shadow” medium sized tactical UAS. It is used to collect information for decision makers at the tactical and operational level.I believe in power of this technology.
Here I am now with, my co-founder, Cornell Wright, TerrAvion’s CTO and our system. You may notice I went “backwards” to manned aircraft start our company—this is based on applying the lessons of flying drones in Afghanistan to civilian use—particularly.
There are three things that are required to make a drone company, there have been many books written about the execution/inputs part of building a company, so today I’d like to focus on what are real opportunities for unmanned aircraft to add value and what business models can they use to realize these opportunities
This is what I saw in Afghanistan and it is what I’m seeing now… the old approach is an integrated approach where only the decision is separate
Add cover over satellite, legacy aerial, + drone space
What does it take to build a drone
• Opportunity to create real value over legacy
systems for customers
• A viable and sustainable business model
(labor, capital, technology, management, etc.)
Creating Value: The Information
Cycle is Becoming Modular
reference, and orthorectify
and Deliver Data
UAS can create value in Air Ops
• Form Factor: Bring an air platform where you
previously could not
• Endurance: Fly a sensor longer than a legacy
• Environmental Limitations: Take sensor where
it could not previously go
• Cost: Fly a sensor for less, or more often, than
a legacy platform could
Not Relevant to
• Timeliness – how quick is the information
• Searchability – can the user/interpreter find
what they are looking for?
• Location – where does the data go?
• Interconnection – what systems can
interrogate the data?
Business Model – Regulation and
Hassle: This guy has a log book and
went to school for this…
Business Model – B2B Service
Enterprise Consulting Cloud Based
• Direct sales
• Large agribusiness
• In-house imagery
• Indirect sale
• Interpretation by
• Medium-sized /
• Web subscription
• Direct interfaces with
in the field
• The true benefits of drones do not have much
to do with not having a pilot on the aircraft, it
has to do with delivering data in a way that
• Our customers should not have to know or
care about the regulations and technical
constraints we work under, they should just
get what they need to do their business better
Founder, CEO TerrAvion
For more ravings see my blog: