Firefighters Drones have been developed to monitor, detect and intervene quickly in hard-to-reach areas like Industrial sector.
Firefighters Drones have been developed to monitor, detect and intervene quickly in hard-to-reach areas like Industrial sector.
I am Jacques Pitoux, project holder, formally in advertising and self-made man, multi winner of the prestigious invention contest « Concours Lépine », I am leaving for 20 years from my inventions in various fields.
Presently working with Pierrick Duret, Industrial designer, graduated from mechanical engineering and automatisms. We are partners since 2011 developing top performing innovations.
We did set up together our company called Fly-Control, which is aiming to be the world leader in Drone equipment and especially in firefighting drone field.
April, our adventure started in Paris exhibition in 2017 through a meeting with a fireman from South of France with whom we immediately started a trustable and friendly relationship. This meeting triggered our wish to help the firefighters in France with our own way.
First we thought to equip drones with extinguishers able to respond to fires in difficult locations with no easy access. At this time of brainstorming, Cédric Cautard, our drone pilot, learned about extinguisher balls when watching an information TV channel. It was the Elide Fire balls.
On only 3 to 10 seconds after contact with fire, a pyrotechnical capsule located inside the ball (harmless and not toxic to environment), is activated thanks to ignition strings on the surface of the extinguisher ball. The ignition triggers an instant explosion that disperse extinguishing powder on an 8 to 10 square meter area (equivalent to a 2.5Kg standard extinguisher), The explosion creating an air outburst that is pushing the oxygen outside the fire area and making the fire dying instantly. The chemical contained in the ball is then covering the fire area that is stopping the effect of combustion. Source : (https://www.elidefire.fr/elidefire)
A first drone is developed using a DJI M600 Pro Drone fitted with a transport and dropping basket (carrying 3 Elide Fire balls). This drone is equipped with an aiming device consisting of 2 cameras (vision and thermal), able to carry a payload of 6 Kg.
Tested closely, we confirm that this ball represents no risk!
The team was happy with the results.
In July, we made contact with the French representative of Elide Fire in Nantes. This official Elide fire distributor for Europe, Mr. Olivier Lhermite was immediately impressed about our drone and proposed a close partnership with us.
In October, we decided to approach professionals of firefighting and we registered for a national congress of French firemen in Ajaccio, Corsica.
During this congress we met the Commandant Eric Rodriguez, who is in charge of research and innovation for the Firefighting division of Bouche du Rhone area in France (South West). He was as well the National adviser for the use of drones for the civil security and saw a great potential in using drone for difficult access of fire zones. He confirmed that the use of drone will save a lot of response time in firefighting action.
In February, Cédric Cautard arranged a meeting with Mr. Gilles Olichon, Air Marine Company Director, who is one of the leaders of air surveillance using civil drones and planes.
In April, we introduced the firefighting drone in partnership with Air Marine at the national invention contest « concours Lépine 2018 », grabbing three awards : the Lepine contest second place award, The Grand Prix du Sénat award and the first price of French Chamber of commerce.
The first enquiries came quickly espacially from Poland, Greece, Portugal, Belgium and Spain.
This first version of our firefighting drone started to attract the press and media through newspapers, radios and TV channels.
In July, we thought that the drone should be able to fly in the night as well and we equipped our drone with lights. Improvements were done and night flying tests performed in Gers region of France.
A second video was shot.
In August, still in partnership with Commandant Rodriguez, we were invited with our partner, Gilles Olichon of Air Marine, to SDIS 13 which is a regional training Center de in Velaux (13880) Bouche du Rhone near Marseille, this invitation was made to test our drone under the Firefighter Commandant supervision.
Further to these flying tests, the Commandant advised us to check the possibility of transporting liquid (water + fire retarding additive).
In order to react closely to the requests, we started to work in a new basket able to carry liquids.
In October, we met again Gilles Olichon of Air Marine to know what his intention were to carry our project further and following financial issues, the partnership came to an end. In order to make improvements to our project, we needed some finance and due to Air marine financial issues, we took over the entire project ourselves.
In January, in the aim of improving our drone, we decided to make some changes on DJI M600 Pro Drone, by adding 2 x 3-liter tanks each tank is able to drop either water + retardant additive or to drop Elide Fire extinguisher balls. Flying tests were done and came conclusive.
In February, through multiple exchanges with Commandant Rodriguez, he informed us that the drone was going to the right direction for him.
Shipping of the first dropping basket to USA
In June, Elide Fire USA head office contacted us from New-York. They explained us that they were the exclusive distributor of Elide Fire balls for USA, Canada and Mexico and wanted to sign an exclusive agreement with Fly control to distribute the dropping baskets.
In July, we shipped a first DJI M600 PRO drone to USA fitted with V2 dropping system (3-liter tanks, each tank being able to drop either water + retardant additive or to drop Elide Fire extinguisher balls). Elide Fire is exhibiting our drone at Chicago Firefighter Chiefs Summit).
In August, after discussions with Elide Fire USA director, Cédric Cautard, our drone pilot is travelling to New York with a Elide Fire (V1) dropping basket.
The basket is attached to DJI M600 PRO drone and media coverage is be done as well as training by Cedric of the Elide Fire pilots on the way to drop balls on life fires.
In October, our drone and basket will be exhibited at Firehouse Expo of Nashville, Tennessee.
Further to our contacts with Elide Fire Europe, Elide Fire USA is looking to set up an exclusive partnership with us. The potential is there. The scope will be to supply baskets that can be fitted to DJI M600 Pro Elide Fire drones and distribute them all over USA, Canada and Mexico to equip the full fleet of Elide Fire drones. Since Elide Fire is having a worldwide set up, they are all waiting for this agreement to start ordering from us either dropping basket only or full drone plus dropping baskets.
Elide Fire, a real story, a real need....
To give a clear understanding. The first people to be in contact with a fire is usually not fire fighters, they do not have any equipment to fight fires neither to protect themselves from fire injuries. They also do not have the required training to fight fires.
In case of fire, the first person in contact with the fire cannot act due to high temperature of 400°C. In case this person has a fire extinguisher he needs to be as close a s1.5 meter from he fires center to be able to act and it is risky and such extinguishers usually have little impact on fires. When the fire alert is given, the firefighter takes at least 10 minutes to respond. This response time is enough to cause damages to build, forest, properties or even more tragically can kill people .
in 1997, in Thailand, during the fire of Royal Jomtien Hotel of Pattaya, 78 people were killed. Mr. Phanawatnan Kaimart, who was one of the survivors of this fire got the idea to create an extinguisher in form of a ball «Elide Fire Ball» and production started in 1998.
The weight of the new firefighting device should be light in order to use it instantly and able to stop fires quickly without any training of the user of that device.
After more than a century when the first extinguisher made of a mix of tungstate and bicarbonate powder was invented (1913), a majority of people are telling not to know how to use an extinguisher. This fact is paving the way of the development of Elide Fire extinguisher balls. In case of fire, you just have to throw the ball to the fire at a distance of 5 meters. Then the ball is activated in 3 to 10 seconds and emitting a 120 dB sound that can alert people or firefighter. A single ball is able to stop a fire in a range of 8 to 10 square meters.
In case of a fire starting in an empty room the Elide Fire ball will explode as soon it came in contact with the flames and the blasting sound will alert people as well.
Thanks to this feature, any ball can be located in various risky locations like kitchen, electrical panels, cars or boat whenever you need to protect a place from fire.
Today a new way to use these Elide fire extinguisher balls is the drop them from a Drone to difficult access zone or industrial sites.
Industrial risk market
All sectors are concerned by fire and the most vulnerable sectors are:
- Steel Mills, Glass manufacturers, Cement plants.
- Trash Recycling plants
- Paint factories
- Shopping malls and warehouses
- Food industry
- Petrol and chemical industries
- Wood product industries
In such industries, a fire can have disastrous consequences even if usually the number of victims is low, the companies cannot recover in terms of assets loss and 70% of the industries affected by a fire usually close their doors after few months.
A fire can also generate pollution due to the fact that the extinguishing water is loaded with chemicals that can affect the underground water reserves or smoke can create air pollution too. Source : http://www.inrs.fr/risques/incendie-lieu-travail/consequences-donnees-statistiques.html
- SUEZ company is interested by a surveillance Drone that can respond on industrial site to test a special experimental additive that can stop certain fire types
- GEOCYCLE (Lafarge) is looking for a surveillance Drone for urgent response on industrial sites.
Elide Fire markets
ELIDE FIRE® is a patented innovation that has passed 50,000 insurance quality tests to guaranty its performances. It has been rewarded by couple of prices : Eureka Innovation Awards Europe gold medal, Japan Genius Award bronze medal, WIPO Award gold medal, Korean KIPA Award gold medal, Russian Sciences and innovations Agency gold medal and Thailand National Research Council gold medal.
27 countries are distributing and using Elide Fire Extinguisher balls : Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Tchech Republic, , Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latonia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Holland, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and UK.
Out of Europe (non-exhaustive list) : Australia, China, Thailand, Ukraine, USA, India, Russia and Taiwan.
Patents are recorded in hundred countries in all continents. The product is useful, attractive and acknowledged in many countries.
This product is attractive for individuals as well as for professionals
Patented in more than hundred countries, this ball is EU certified and weights 1.3 Kg for a diameter of 152. The powder used is nontoxic and biodegradable. The manufacturing plant is ISO 9001:2008 certified (2008 quality insurance). The Elide Fire extinguisher ball is efficient on all fire types (E for electrical fires, D for metal fire and F for frying fires). This ball does not require any maintenance and therefore can be very attractive for homes as well as warehouse or store managers.
Elide Fire USA and Europe has already issued an advertising brochure and website showing our firefighter drone
After putting our own investment of 120,000 euros for company set up fees, research and development costs , as well as prototyping, purchase of components, patenting fees, cost of video for V1 drone tests by day and night (2 videos), exhibition fees, conception of V2 drone, Lepine contest exhibition fee and cost linked to firefighting exhibitions, we are looking today for investors that can bring us to next level of development.
Our target is to set a production line for the dropping baskets that will allow us to distribute them in a large scale. To afford having a plastic injection production line for the basket manufacturing we need a fresh investment to cover the cost of molds, tools, spare parts, as well as the purchase of computer assistance program and of course the purchase of new drones for testing our dropping baskets.
Estimated need in investment: XX Euros
Risks and challenges
Although this is the first time we have joined the Kickstarter community, over the last three years we have worked and invested a lot of time and money to make our Firefighter Drone the best in surveillance, detection and response in order to save lives. Our team has a wide experience in research and development coming from development of previous projects in China, Dubai and France.
However, we are aware that some issues related to production and shipping can occur unpredictably and that is why we promise to communicate transparently and frequently with you, our contributors. Our team encourages you, the sponsors, to contact us if you have questions about the progress of our work because it is important to be in constant communication with you.
We believe that our biggest challenge will be to industrialize and rapidly increase production to meet international demand and we are aware that the pace and cost of shipments can vary depending on the number of units to be delivered in each country.
By contributing to the purchase of our products, you are acting yourself to protect your family and your property, because never forget that our Drone Firefighter has been designed and developed to save life, above all!!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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