Our natural tendency when we hear the word drone or uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) is to think of a non-piloted aircraft against a blue sky and the natural implications of what their emergence has brought to traditional aviation in terms of innovation and to a certain degree, disruption.

But not all drones are intended or destined to fly in the open skies, and some are specifically designed to be flown in dark places where the global positioning system (GPS) is not available, and navigation must be accomplished by other means.

This is where Exyn Technologies comes into the picture. The company specializes in autonomous flight in GPS-denied environments where artificial intelligence (AI) plays a crucial role in the determination not only of position, but also where to go next.

Raffi Jabrayan, Vice President of Commercial Sales and Business Development for Exyn, gave us a glimpse into Exyn’s technology and announced the company’s intentions to penetrate the Latin American market.

"We have very specific applications, with almost all of them operating in environments where human lives could be put at risk," said Raffi. "These environments are usually low visibility with tight confinement and lack any GPS which normally assists UAVs. Exyn's autonomy is specifically designed and manufactured for missions in these dangerous yet critical data captures."

When asked about their investment in Latin America, Raffi was candid with respect to industries and markets.

“Mining is certainly one of our biggest markets, and Latin America is ‘The Land of Opportunity’ for innovation companies which are bringing products that would help reduce human risks and increase productivity,” Raffi said. “Our technology can do in a few minutes what traditionally took hours and countless risks.”

The way Exyn’s drones are equipped with multiple sensors and various ways of ensuring mission completion also enables them to perform other tasks that are key to the successful operation of the underground mine.

“Our 4K cameras have been used to assist in mine rescues given that our drones are uniquely equipped with Level 4 Autonomy and can quickly be re-tasked to perform a different mission,” Raffi said. “Our AI algorithms are tightly integrated with LiDAR technology to ensure that the drone can navigate areas that are not only GPS- and communications-denied, but also dark and damp, making them ideal tools for exploration and underground mapping.”

When it comes to hardware details, Raffi was specific about Exyn’s philosophy and vision.

“We are hardware agnostic, and our AI software is the ‘secret sauce’ that glues it all together,” Raffi said with a smile. “We work with many drone and sensor manufacturers all over the world in order to assemble the perfect vehicle to carry out the customer’s mission under the guidance of our highly tuned software and integration protocols.”

Latin American mining companies will surely benefit from Exyn’s entrance into the market as more and more service and manufacturing companies discover that the sub-continent is ready for business.