After Raleigh-based drone startup PrecisionHawk was acquired by a European company in April, some PrecisionHawk leaders decided they weren’t finished yet with improving drone technology. Instead, they’ve blazed a path to new heights—see what we did there?—to develop a no-code development platform called Cloneable, which strives to make drones more efficient and intelligent.
The new Raleigh-based startup announced last week that they are leaving stealth mode to publicly announce the platform’s launch and a $750K pre-seed funding round led by Washington, D.C.-based First In. Cloneable Co-Founder and COO Lia Reich said that by leaving stealth, the startup plans to expand the number of devices the platform deploys in order to reach different industry verticals ranging from utility companies to agriculture. The platform’s beta version is open to developers to build upon.
“Given our background in drones,” Reich said, “we see a huge opportunity to increase the intelligence of drones, as regulations are expanding and drones are going to be able to do more and fly further and collect more data.”
Cloneable aims to empower businesses to up-level their “edge devices”—such as drones, IoT (Internet of Things) infrastructure and tablets—that operate in the field. Their platform supports those companies by leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technology to allow each device to instantly run and process data and make real-time decisions.
There are two main problems Cloneable aims to solve, according to Co-Founder and CEO Patrick Lohman: drone intelligence and data scalability.
Current drones generally lack context in data collection, meaning that whatever data they collect, it goes back to specialists to decipher, which can take months. With Cloneable, field devices can make contextual decisions without the delays from after-the-fact data processing. If these field devices can process and act on the data faster, companies will benefit from increased efficiency and productivity.
“We’re taking what used to be a three-to-six-month process down to a day,” Lohman said. “Instead of having 40 analysts taking all this raw data that’s been collected from the field and taking precious time out to sort through to make something useful out of it, [Cloneable] can solve a lot of those problems, both on the development side and operational side.”
That’s where the name “Cloneable” comes from.
The founders realized that there was at most one to two people in most organizations that others relied on for data processing. The pain point Lohman said they realized was that there’s only so much scale to one person, so with this platform, they can “clone” all the logic to make it more accessible for anyone who has an edge device so they can start to scale that data-processing expertise.
No-code building blocks allow for more flexibility for devices to process and make decisions. Some no-code building blocks can show UI through cameras, some run complex processing through AI and some are completely logical. Cloneable combines all of these easy-to-use building blocks where users can go in, collect and process the data to the specific application, and as soon as the user hits “save,” it’s deployable to any device that it was built for.
Co-Founder and CTO Tyler Collins is the third member of the founding team.
“Our platform removes the complexity and costliness of app development like integrating AI, stitching together systems and configuring business rules. In turn, business owners can focus their resources on innovation and not integration,” said Collins in the company’s press release.
Cloneable’s team is currently working on ensuring that complex and flexible applications can be deployed to any edge device already in the field. Reich said the startup is working on “proof of concept” projects with other companies and is currently looking to recruit local developers for their beta program, which was released last Monday. They’re asking any developers interested in deploying AI models to iOS devices to look into their beta program as they start taking in more feedback.