Q&A with Utpal Roy and Yunpeng Li, Founders of Unmanned Systems and Product Lifecycle Management Inc. (UsPLM)
“Over 2.5 million commercial UAS will be in use by the year 2022. We can provide the integrated fleet management solution to support this market growth.”
Hometown: Syracuse, NY
Team Size: 2 + 1 intern
Explain your team in a few words:
Collaborative, academic and industrial experience
Tell me about your company:
We develop an integrated, scalable drone fleet management solution for UAS operations. It provides UAS operators crucial performance data and maintenance history to support safe operations, as well as integrated workflow to streamline regulatory compliance processes.
UsPLM also provides consulting services to UAS operation centers, UAS manufacturers, government agencies and research scientists who are involved in developing and operating UAS fleets.
What problem are you solving?
UAS as a tool or service has been quickly adopted by industrial applications and research scientists. It is forecasted that over 2.5 million commercial UAS will be used in agriculture, construction, infrastructure, transportation, and many other areas by the year 2022. Efficient and safe UAS operations require secure data management and smart decision support systems for mission planning, execution, monitoring, real-time data analytics, and regulatory compliance assurance. UAS operations ultimately need be integrated into the day-to-day enterprise process.
It’s challenging to manage heterogeneous asset data including UAV physical components data, maintenance history, autonomous flight algorithms, flight logs data, incident reporting, regulatory documents, as well as the team. As the fleet size grows, the data grows exponentially, making tracing the relationship among data more complicated.
The capability of UAS to go anywhere adds an additional dimension to the traditional fleet management solutions. This complicates the planning process to efficiently utilize assets to support a mission operation. How can we take the UAV and payload performance data to generate more realistic and optimal flight path? How can we use the UAV historical data to predict component failures or accidents? How can we take a chain of data to support forensics analysis for an incident?
Why are you excited for GENIUS NY?
First, we are very happy to see such a great program hosted in the home state. GENIUS NY provides a lot of useful trainings, workshops, events, and resources to help startup companies like us be functional quickly. More importantly, it provides a synergy platform for all the GENIUS NY teams to collaborate with each other to promote our technologies. We learn from each other and we grow together.
First impressions of Syracuse?
Syracuse is a beautiful place, we’ve been here for 6 years (Yunpeng) and 28 years (Utpal). It is different from where we lived before (China and India). For the first time we can drive across the city in 30 minutes. We can find true, small town American culture here. We have the city, as well as everything there is to do outdoors all within reach of our homes. That is something so unique to this area. You can find open pastures, apple orchards, clean air, and all four seasons. You can count the individual snowflakes and see the sunrise after the night storm. The only thing we don’t like is driving over ice.
How many drones do you own?
We own a DJI phantom 4. We have also built two drones in the lab and are building another two rotor copters and one fixed-wing drone in the near future.
What would you do with the $1 million grand prize?
Our first priority is to quickly transform our technology to a product. The drone fleet management solution is a fast-growing market and is also highly competitive. We will invest the majority of the funding to hire talented engineers to develop high quality software and services. We plan to have our first release in early 2019. We will establish partnerships with software/hardware infrastructure vendors so that we can focus on developing the middleware on top of these infrastructure services. We also need financial resources to seek early adopters and pilot projects to test our product.