Join Greg & Haye in talking with Blake Resnick the founder of BRINC drones. They discuss how the LEMUR 2 came about, challenges for BRINC going forward, and how Blake ended up starting BRINC Drones. The PiXL Drone Show is a partnership between Pilot Institute (PI) and DroneXL (XL).
- 00:00 Introduction
- 01:03 How did the first generation LEMUR lead to the second generation?
- 07:33 LEMUR 2 Specs
- 18:37 Mesh Network
- 24:13 Use Cases
- 26:44 Managing as a CEO
- 32:24 1st Case Use
- 39:27 Drones in Turkey
Lemur 2 from Brinc Drones – PIXL Drone Show Transcription
Hi everyone, I’m Greg from Pilot Institute we train drone pilots all over the country. Hi my name is Haye from DroneXL where we cover all the drone news on our website. Welcome to the latest episode of the PIXL Drone Show our weekly podcast where we talk to industry professionals about what they do in the uas space. From professionals who use drone to fly inspection missions to Public Safety users or even drone light shows. You will learn on the PIXL Drone Show that drones are much more than just toys.
All right. Well everybody welcome to the next PIXL drone show we’ve we’ve missed a few episodes over the holiday season and now well into the new year but today we have a very exciting guest Blake Resnick the founder of Brinc Drones and he’s going to tell us all about a new drone that they launched last week by the time this show comes out we’re recording this Friday afternoon almost weekend.
00:00:04 Haye Kesteloo: Hi, my name is Haye from DroneXL, where we cover all the drone news on our website.
00:00:09 Greg Reverdiau: Welcome to the latest episode of the Pixel Drone Show, our weekly podcast where we talk to industry professionals about what they do the UAS space
00:00:15 Haye Kesteloo: From professionals who use drones to fly inspection missions to public safety users or even drone light shows. You will learn on the Pixel Drone show that drones are much more than just toys.
All right, well, everybody, welcome to the next Pixel Drone show. We’ve missed a few episodes, over the holiday season and now well into the new year. But today we have a very exciting guest, Blake Resnick, the founder of. Brinc Drones, and he’s going to tell us all about a new drone that they launched, last week, by the time this show comes out.
We’re recording this Friday afternoon, almost the weekend. But, Blake, welcome to the show, and thank you for making time available, this Friday to talk with us about, Lemur 2.
00:00:58 Blake Resnick: Yeah, no, truly my pleasure. Thank you for having me.
00:01:01 Haye Kesteloo: Awesome. Where should we start? Do you want to back up and talk about, the first generation Lemur and kind of how that let you into the second generation, or where do you want to get started with this?
00:01:11 Blake Resnick: Yeah, no, that, that sounds good to me. The story is was working on a couple of different projects. I grew up in Las Vegas. The October one shooting happened, not, you know, not too far from my house, which was, you know, it was like fairly traumatizing for just the entire community.
And, that, that is what initially got me thinking that maybe there was a place for, you know, modern technology in the hands of first responders, to equip them with additional tools to try to deal with these sorts of events. , which ultimately led to me, you know, cold calling the SWAT team, Las Vegas Metro swat, having some initial conversations, that resulted in early prototype of the Lemur drone.
I then went on call with them for a while, so, I would, you know, get like 3:00 AM call saying that there’s a barricade at this address in Vegas, and we want the drone. You should come out. And let us fly it. I would do that. That’s, I would say, more than anywhere else where, you know, where Lemur really got developed was me riding along on those missions and seeing where the technology did well and seeing where it did poorly.
And then going back home and re-engineering it as I discovered sort of future problems. From there, Vegas Metro became our first customer. Grown a lot, sold to around 400 other public safety agencies all over the world. Subsequently, did a lot of missions, you know, primarily in tactical, in SWAT and high risk, you know, law enforcement style events, but also a lot of missions around collapsed buildings and hazmat response and, just like a wide array of public safety missions.
And through all of that, you know, we just learned more about the product and what sort of the ideal version of lemur would look like. And now with Lemur 2, we’ve wrapped in all of those learnings and also all of our development as an organization, you know, into a new drone.
00:03:07 Haye Kesteloo: So did you have like the drone in mind already from day one? Now going back to that mass shooting when you were with the police, where you’re thinking, okay, it needs to work with the.
00:03:18 Blake Resnick: Yeah, it’s, that’s a good question. I did walk into that first meeting thinking that a drone would’ve been a pretty good solution for a couple of reasons, but I wasn’t actually sure.
But kind of, kind of throughout the duration of the conversation, I learned like a core capability that SWAT and public safety in general needs on a regular basis is the ability to get eyes and ears in dangerous places. And it doesn’t really matter, like what is carrying the camera and the toy audio system, the thermal imager and whatever other sensors you equip.
It’s sort. Sort of not important. Like it could be a terrestrial robot, it could be, you know, an underwater vehicle, it could be a blimp, it could be anything. It just so happens that, you know, a quad copter is a pretty good way to carry all of this equipment. Up, for example, you know, 14 stories.
You know, blast through a window with the glass breakers we build, you know, the only drone in the world, the glass breaking function fly inside and then, you know, inspect, inspect a couple of rooms for someone that might be trapped, for example. It’d be very hard to do that with a different platform.
So, yes, I did think a drone might have been a good solution, but, it was really through those conversations with first responders that I became convinced it. It was the right, you know, the right technology solution.
00:04:34 Greg Reverdiau: How did you land on the FPV model rather than a non FPV versus drone? Was that, was there an iteration ever initially that didn’t have FPV and then you realized this is easier?
What was the advantage in your head in doing that?
00:04:47 Blake Resnick: Yeah, by FPV do you mean like the goggles?
00:04:50 Greg Reverdiau: Yeah, just having the goggles on rather than having just somebody looking at a screen.
00:04:55 Blake Resnick: Yeah, that’s a great question. So there, there’s definitely been some development here. The very first versions of lemur were piloted through a pair of goggles.
The reasons why we liked that were, we thought it resulted in better pilot performance. We thought it resulted in higher levels of immersion. We thought that it would also be helpful at the time to help first responders kind of ignore what was going on out outside of, you know, their immediate surroundings, to be able to really focus on the piloting operation.
And that is what incentivized us to originally go down the goggle path. The problem though, is when we started showing this to new teams, you know, outside of Las Vegas metro sw. , their feedback was we put these things on and yeah, it’s great for piloting, but if something happens in these situations that we have to deal with, that we have to focus on, you know, we hear a sound or there’s a gunshot or you know, a fire changes in an unexpected way, it’s actually really bad to not have that additional situational awareness around us.
To be able to just quickly look up and deal with whatever that situation is, and then go back to a piloting operation. . So with that, we made the transition from goggles, back to a slightly more conventional, you know, screen integrated controller. So now with sort of the later versions of Lemur s and with the first versions of Lemur 2, we’re not even really offering much of a goggle c.
It’s still compatible because our controller outputs H D M I, and you can just wire that into whatever goggles you want to use. But predominantly our, you know, our drones are now flown off the screen, so it’s Yeah. Interesting. It’s definitely been a development process and yeah, something we had to get some customer feedback around to really understand.
00:06:42 Haye Kesteloo: So in a few short years, you guys launched the, or original Lemur drone, you took all the learnings, and this week you launched the Lemur 2. I’m looking at an image here of the front of the drone and there’s a lot going on there. Can you kind of talk us through the different sensors that you guys have built into this drone?
Because I don’t really think there’s any drone out there that, that comes anywhere near, the capability of this drone in, in terms of sensors and equipment that’s on
00:07:05 Blake Resnick: Yeah, it’s a unique platform. Happy to do that. And yeah, a lot of the sensors of the drone are mounted up front, just because that’s kind of where they get the best view for our use case.
So, the first is, you know, Lemur was the first drone with a 2-way audio system. We have kept that core functionality with the Lemur 2. So underneath the drone is a high-powered speaker driver. And then in that sort of front sensor cluster, is an extremely sensitive, electro condenser mic.
So, both of these things are hooked up to a 4G module that’s inside the airframe of the device. And the Drone literally has a cell phone number, so you can pick up your cell phone, dial it up, call, and then the drone is just sort of like an absurdly loud flying speaker phone. Oh, wow. So that’s the first thing.
Very important though for, you know, hostage negotiation, crisis negotiation. We found also use cases in search and rescue. You know, we might blast out a four, like, like I said, a 14th story window, you know, fly inside, land, the drone, call it up, then call out with the drone. You know, these are search and rescue officials.
If you can hear this, you know, yell and then we’ll listen through the microphone to, you know, to hear. We can pick anything up. We did that kind of thing in, in Turkey, just, just last week actually.
00:08:21 Haye Kesteloo: We definitely need to come back to that because I know, a few years ago in Japan, they had drones with microphones, that were able to pick up, sounds from people that might have been buried under the, rubble from, earthquakes and stuff.
So, we’ll come, definitely come back to that. But there’s more on the front, right? You have LIDAR. There’s keep going, there’s a lot more going on. We’re not done yet, I think.
00:08:39 Blake Resnick:Yeah. Not at all. Alright, so we got this 2-way audio system. Yeah, we have a full-blown time of flight lidar system, as you know, as you described.
So, as our drone is flying around, it’s generating a 3D point cloud of its environment. It’s then using that point cloud number one to send back to users. So we’re sending back 3D models, but also importantly for our use case, 2D floor plants. This is. Because think about a SWAT team situation.
You send in the drone first you clear all the rooms. Now you’re looking at a live up-to-date floor plan of the structure you might have to send your operators into. That is extremely helpful from a planning perspective. It’s also used for what we call obstacle awareness. So other manufacturers build obstacle avoidance systems, and we’re always a huge fan of that because it prevents users from crashing.
But a lot of the time it also prevents users from actually nosing their way into areas that, you know, might be really confined, which for our use case is almost all of our missions. Many of our missions, you know, we’re flying through a window, we’re flying through, you know, a hole in a wall. We’re flying through rubble, like the ability to actually get in tight areas that might barely fit our drone.
So what we’ve implemented is a system just to slow the drone. So it’ll never prevent you from clearing an area. It’ll just lower your velocity if it expects that you’re about to crash. So you’ll just bump into something lightly, while still enabling you to kind of kind of flag exactly where you have to.
So that’s a cool function. And then this full-time flight system is also being utilized, for localization. . So for teaching the drone where it is in the world, and it’s one of the things that makes our, you know, position hold function really robust in GPS denied and zero light conditions. It’s utilizing the lidar instead of gps or more conventional VLA technologies, in order to figure out where it is.
So it just works really well in our operating. With that said, we still do use a camera for some localization tasks. So under the LIDAR is a tracking camera, that’s using some AI and ML to pick out a bunch of tracking points. Then it’s using more conventional computer vision to track those points, frame to frame.
And it’s using all of that with our I M U. So that is, is also teaching the drone roughly how it’s moving where it is. And across from that we have a really bright, autonomy floodlight, really bright, however, not very visible to the human eye because it’s running more of like blue style wavelengths.
So we’re flooding a scene with light that humans can’t really see very well, but our cameras can see very well. And it’s making our cameras robust in zero light conditions, which is also really good. So that’s really cool. Yeah, that’s stuff on this kind of the sides of the drone, all of that.
We’re still not to the gimbal. So the gimbal is centered in between these 2 nay cells almost on, on either side of the front of the aircraft. One cool thing about the gimbal is it has a full hundred 80 degree range of motion, so it can look straight up. It can also look straight down and anywhere in between.
Which is very helpful because you think about, again, a class building scenario or a situation where the suspect might be inside of an attic. Just really nice to be able to look straight up, kind of position the drone and then just push the throttle. Stick up to ascend. Exactly. You know exactly where you expect you’re kind of going to go.
Then on the Gimbal we have a 4K camera, which is transmitting like actual, legit digital HD video back to your handheld controller. That’s a big upgrade over the Lemur S, which is relying on analog, that is also our night vision camera. So across from that, we have a night vision illuminator. It works similarly, so it’s very powerful, but not very visible to human eyes.
Illuminates scenes. Very well monochrome. So it’s just black and white. But, if, you know, if you’re okay with that, it’s extremely useful. On top of that, we also have a very powerful white floodlight with a stroke function. So you’re somewhere dark, you want full color, you don’t care so much about being seen, you can turn that on.
And then also in our gimbal package is a FLIR lepton. So you know, you can see people under blankets or. You know, people in class, building scenarios, all that kind of stuff
00:12:46 Haye Kesteloo: Is there anything that, that’s missing, like a fire hose? Maybe you could add still to it or something. Well, actually,
00:12:53 Blake Resnick: I’m glad you brought that up because this is all expandable.
So underneath of the drone, we have a picket rail. That’s where our glass breaker attaches and our dropper attach. , but it also has bidirectional data. So it’s kind of like a glorified USB cable, USB port. So in the future we’re really excited about developing, you know, like a tri gas sensor, for example, for hazmat operations, in Geiger counters and, you know, radiation, detecting equipment, all that kind of stuff we’ll be moving.
00:13:24 Greg Reverdiau: you have the ability to expand. Yeah. That’s, that’s smart. You, you mentioned the switch from analog to digital. What was the reasoning in the first place to have analog versus digital? Was there, an easier access to parts? I know that, I’m sure the pandemic hasn’t been, nice to you guys with that. Was it a country of origin? Because I think the drone is also, NDA compliant, right? So is there, was there an issue there with that?
00:13:47 Blake Resnick: You know, analog actually has a lot of advantages, a lot of advantages. It, it has very strong signal, signal penetration characteristics. So, you know, a high powered analog signal can get through a lot of walls.
It’s extremely low latency. In general, so, you know, the footage coming off the drone can be transmitted to a control monitor with, you know, 20, 30 milliseconds of latency, which is in fact even lower than that in some cases, which can be incredibly helpful. The parts are very small and very lightweight, so they can be integrated into the Drone and the controller, really nicely without, without adding a lot of weight or complexity.
Cost is relatively low across all these components. So these are all very legitimate advantages and make it a pretty reasonable choice for a drone like, you know, like we built. The primary disadvantage though is the video looks. You know, it looks like 1970s video and you get into like, multi-pathing situations.
There could be flashes of color on the screen and you know, it just, it can be a not super pleasant piloting experience. And, with this, we wanted to. But yeah, I’ll tell you what I mean. The costs associated with implementing a digital video system and the extra engineering complexity that was involved, was really extreme.
I mean, I would say the costs of our digital transmission system are. I mean, they were like literally 10 times that of the analogs.
00:15:19 Haye Kesteloo: Wow. So, so this was not just, getting a DJI O3 Air Unit and building it in.
00:15:23 Blake Resnick: Well, that’s a thing, right? We’re, we build an NDA compliant drone. So unfortunately, those, you know, those aren’t components that can be leveraged. But DJI has done very impressive stuff, with their video transmission technology. It’s just, you know, it’s been like a decade long effort with unbelievable amounts of investment from their side.
00:15:44 Greg Reverdiau: Yeah. And then you have. Okay. I was going to ask like with so many sensors and cameras, built onto this drone, like what kind of flight time and battery life do you get? Because I can imagine that this draws quite a bit of power, doesn’t it?
00:15:59 Blake Resnick:Yeah, no, it definitely does. Yeah, so we’re, I think what we’re publicly advertising is, 20 plus minutes.
I am hopeful we can get it to 25, by the time we start deliveries, which is Q3 of this. I think there’s some easy wins that are achievable there, switching to some new, battery cells, which recently came up on the market. But, yeah, that, that’s kind of the rough range we’re talking about.
00:16:22 Greg Reverdiau: Yeah. That’s cool. That’s actually impressive for, for having that much equipment on it and being rather small. You had a technology on the website, you call a mesh ne2rk. Can you tell our viewers a little bit more about the advantages of, of what it does, how it works and all that?
00:16:35 Blake Resnick: Yeah. This is also contributing to the cost of, you know, of our transmission system. It is a magnificent capability though. So sort of, sort of the way this works is. Drones, handheld controllers and even body-worn radios act as mesh ne2rking nodes, with this new system. . So you think about a situation where you’re, you have to clear a large commercial building, for example, a mall, it is extraordinarily difficult to get a point to point radio link to work through 20 concrete walls.
Yeah. , nearly impossible. So, You know, we’ve experimented with a couple of different approaches to fix this, but really the best solution is just placing breadcrumbs along the way so that every time you have a point to point link, it’s dealing with. You know, 5, 6, 7 walls instead of 20. And that’s what this mesh networking capability is enabling.
So you have this huge commercial building, you know, you send in one drone a third of the way into the building, you’re then using that drone as a signal repeater, and you can send additional birds deeper in and then just breadcrumb them back as far as you want. , very useful in malls, you know, useful in government buildings useful. Underground. It’s really a game-changing capability.
00:17:56 Haye Kesteloo: So what kind of range would you be able to get? Like how far into that mall system can you fly? If you build a network like this,
00:18:05 Blake Resnick: You can go through the whole thing almost regardless of slice.
00:18:09 Haye Kesteloo: As long as you have enough notes either what carried by a human or with another drone or however you would do it. Well, our
00:18:17 Blake Resnick: drones are flying notes. So the way you probably do it is take off drone one, fly a third of the way into the building, land it there, purchase from there. It’ll have, you know, six plus hours of battery light.
Now you take off another drone from that same launch location and you can clear the whole thing. It’s, that’s brilliant. Yeah. Most large, you don’t have to drop anything. You can just use the birds as, as nodes in the. And we sell a 2 pack. So you can get one case with, you know, 2 aircraft, one controller, and, you know, use it in this way as much as you want.
00:18:53 Greg Reverdiau: How how does the setup work for the user? When with the mesh network, is there anything that they need to do, or is any drone that you produce any Lemur to becomes a repeater for anybody’s drone?
00:19:04 Blake Resnick: Yeah, so we basically, as of today, we configure it from our. So the same customers will get drones that are all compatible with one another.
It’s a good question though. It would be, it’d be very exciting if in the future, , a bunch of neighboring agencies could all function on the same ne2rk. So in a large event, you know, their equipment would be, cross compatible.
00:19:26 Greg Reverdiau: Yeah. Security issues I’m sure would be. Yeah.
00:19:30 Blake Resnick: Yeah. was going to say, the other thing that is sort of exposed to the user is, you know, you can use one of our handheld remotes to control multiple, So, it is selectable in a settings menu.
You know, which of the drones that are powered on. You actually want to see a live video feed, from and control. That’s cool.
00:19:48 Greg Reverdiau: I do have a question about the, NDA compliance. Can you explain and. And maybe talk about, blue u a s talk about the difference between NDA and Blue UAS.
Why the interest for you on the NDA compliance side? Are you also interested in the Blue compliance side as well?
00:20:07 Blake Resnick: Yeah, very much so. So we are very interested in Blue uas compliance. We’re very interested in Green UAS compliance as well, which is what we’re actively applying for as a first step.
So NDA compliance means no electronics effectively, from countries on like, like a known entity list. So China is, you know, one of, one of the, one of the countries on that list, which is very problematic because the entire drone global supply chain is really based out of Shenzhen. So almost all of the off-the-shelf components that, you know, a company like mine might want to utilize in a product like this, we basically can’t use, which has forced us to develop. an amazing amount of our own stuff. Many drone subsystems we could not find, you know, functional commercial options for.
And that caused us to basically have to develop a lot of it within house capabilities. So, Yeah, that’s what NDA compliance is. Green UAS and Blue UAS is that with additional cybersecurity checkpoints that have been completed, done by, you know, government, quasi-government agencies. So it’s an additional seal of approval that.
You know, there isn’t anything in your aircraft that might pose a supply chain risk. And also there isn’t anything in your aircraft that’s, you know, beaming back home or is an obvious cybersecurity risk.
00:21:31 Haye Kesteloo: So Green UAS is more, focused on commercial enterprises, right? To be able for them to use drones that meet certain standards as well, close to the same standards as the Blue UAS, with your drone being so focused on first responders is, do you see a different version of the Lemur 2 catering to commercial enterprises, or would it be the same drone, or what kind of use cases do you have in mind?
00:21:53 Blake Resnick:There we’re very focused on public safety, so I think a lot of drone manufacturers have tried to build products, that, you know, service the consumer market and commercial market and industrial market and agriculture market and defense market, and they kind of tried to hit everything and it’s just generally very hard to service all of those verticals well. So a fundamental part of our strategy has been ignore everything that isn’t public safety. This is an area where we think drones can save a lot of people’s lives, and, we also think it’s some, you know, a material market opportunity and we just want to focus on this.
So we’re largely uninterested in anything that is in public safety.
00:22:39 Haye Kesteloo: So follow up question. Especially now with the Lemur 2, with all that new and increased capability. When you explain to a police agency, let’s say that’s hasn’t been able to use drones in the past, much senior, tell them like, okay, this is a drone and these are all the things you can do with this drone.
Like what kind of reaction do you get from people? Because I would imagine that some of those folks might be blown. With what they can do now or no?
00:23:00 Blake Resnick: I think a lot of the, a lot of the time when a prospective customer sees a download of our stuff, they think back to a situation, you know, 2, 3, 5 years ago where one of their people got hurt and, they think if we had this capability, that might not have happened.
We hear that a lot that, you know, this would’ve provided that extra situational awareness. , you know, would’ve located that person with a weapon in a closet that we didn’t know was there. You know, they see the value pretty quickly. Yeah.
00:23:35 Greg Reverdiau: That’s amazing. That’s amazing. I do want to, do I, hi. I don’t know if you have, do you have any more questions about the brink too?
Cuz I, I want to shift gear, but I want to make sure we, can finalize this chapter first.
00:23:47 Haye Kesteloo: No, I think we’re good there. I have some other questions still, but, go ahead
00:23:50 Greg Reverdiau: Yeah, wanted to, ask a bit more personal questions. I think, you’re a pretty young CEO for a fairly large company now that’s raised.
I think 80 some million, in several rounds. Right. What are the challenges that you found? You had this idea in your head, and now you have a company that is extremely successful. What were the challenges for you personally as a CEO, as someone who went in there with an idea, and I’m sure as an engineering background, and now you have to also manage a company? I’m actually personally interested in hearing your side of this.
00:24:22 Blake Resnick: Yeah. I mean, it’s tough. It is just two and a half years ago I was operating from my mom’s kitchen. So, you know, things have definitely changed a lot and escalated quite dramatically, in, in that time. I think one thing that is pretty great about starting a startup is, you’re just sort of forced to develop competency in areas before you’re allowed to graduate into subsequent areas.
And I’ll kind of breakdown what I mean by that. If I was like an incompetent, project manager or product manager in the very early history of bringing, talking to customers and soliciting feedback about. What I wanted to build would have to do, that probably would’ve killed the company if I was an incompetent engineer.
After that, I wasn’t able to actually build kind of what was specked out that also would’ve killed the company if I was incompetent at like building the first versions of this drone. by hand. You know, if that couldn’t work like that would’ve killed the company. If I was incompetent at sales, you know, that would’ve killed the company, incompetent at training or customer support.
It would’ve killed the company, incompetent of fundraising. It would’ve killed the company. So it’s just like, you know, you kind of are presented with some new challenge in a very early stage. You have to solve that challenge, at least to a moderately acceptable degree, before there’s an opportunity to move on.
And I think it’s just, I think it just forced me to develop like a baseline of proficiency across every major department and an area that, you know, brink has to operate in today. Which I really appreciate. It’s almost like an inbuilt tutorial.
00:26:05 Greg Reverdiau: So it’s, you have to survive. You have to learn to survive and make it, I’m really interested in the way you said this.
That’s, that’s I think a great description of, starting a startup and growing a startup. Do you find yourself today, spending still most of your time on the engineering side of things and the product idea, product development, research and development, or more running the company? Or do you rely. On your employees to help you run the company on a day-to-day basis?
00:26:31 Blake Resnick: Yeah, it’s a good question. I spend most of my time on whatever. The biggest problem, you know, in the company is at that given moment. So recently that has actually been engineering, developing Lemur 2 has sort of been like the biggest problem.
More project, but still. , releasing this has been like the primary objective. So that’s where a lot of my efforts have been spanned. But that’ll change. And sometimes there are shorter projects that get thrown in there. You know, having to recruit certain roles might become the biggest problem in the company, or supply chain issues might become the biggest problem in the company. Or, you know, customer support issues might become the biggest problem in the company. And then you just sort of have to vector your effort around, in order to try to solve.
00:27:16 Haye Kesteloo: So if we go back to the kitchen table, in your arms house where it all started, what were some of the initial breakthroughs that, allowed you to take the next step and face the next challenge?
00:27:25 Blake Resnick: Yeah. Like technical breakthroughs Or breakthroughs?
00:27:30 Haye Kesteloo: Yeah. Or just in general, did you, your first hire or first investments or like, what were some of the key moments, let’s say in the first year that’s allowed you and gave you the confidence to say, okay, this might be going somewhere.
00:27:41 Blake Resnick: Yeah. Yeah. That’s a good question. I think there are actually some key moments that were critical. You know, the success of the organization and, brink looking like what it does today. So, you know, first was probably, I mean, first was probably when I was very young and like initially working on drone projects and, the drone projects I worked on immediately prior to Brinc.
I think October one was one of those moments for us, for me. I think me initially reaching out to Las Vegas Metro SWAT and them answering a phone was another one of those moments. I think the first and second demo I did for Vegas Metro SWAT were important and educational, and if those had gone much worse, it probably would’ve also killed the company at that stage.
I think our first successful live call. Was an important moment when like the product developed to a point where it would, you know, it could actually help the first time it was utilized with, you know, with an actual live mission. I think Vegas Metro.
00:28:48 Haye Kesteloo: Okay. Can you tell us more about the first situation, the first time that your drone was actually put to use in, in, in that environment? Can you tell us more about that?
00:28:55 Blake Resnick: Yeah, sure. So, Kind of the lead up to this was, there, there was an attempted drive-by shooting in Las Vegas, but the, the attackers were unsuccessful. The person that was shot at immediately called 9 1 1, said, you know, I think I know. Who, well first of all, you know, someone just tried to kill me and second of all, I think I know who they are. Police listened. They were able to locate, you know, their address. They went out to that location. They put up a big speaker system with some normal squad call cars. They started calling out to the people that they thought were inside. You know, this is Vegas Metro swat, you know, come up with your hands up, that kind of stuff. They didn’t listen. And this is like a very conventional lead up to a SWAT callout because you have an armed and dangerous person inside of a structure. You know, REI resisting arrest, refusing to come out, extremely dangerous. You don’t want to send patrol officers. You know, into a building like that where there might be an ambush waiting for them.
So they call in the SWAT team. The SWAT team arrives, and around this time I also got a call. So they gave me just a couple words about the situation. They said, you know, the drone’s getting pretty good. Like, we think this might be the one if you’re interested. So I grab all my stuff, you know, throw it in a car, drive out as fast as I can.
I arrive on scene, almost the moment I got out of my car. I hear this huge explosion come from where all of the, you know, all the officers are. So it’s like, geez, what’s that? They explained to me that they just placed some explosive charges on the front door to this building, , and they blew out the front.
in order to, and at this point, they’ve been calling to them for several hours, with some very high powered speaker systems. So, they kind of had to take, you know, some additional steps. About 30 seconds after that, 2 people ran out of the house. So they grabbed the 2 people. They arrest them.
They’re talking to them afterwards. They explain to officers that there’s one more person inside. Isn’t coming out, doesn’t want to come out. So they’re like, okay, got the drone . So when grabbed the stuff, gave it to ’em, it was always officers piloting our equipment from the beginning due to some obvious liability challenges.
So, they take off, they fly up to the house, they fly through the door that, has just been breached. They start exploring some of the rooms on the first. They don’t find anyone though. They think they mostly cleared it. So they fly up to the staircase that leads up to the second story. They start flying up the stairs.
They make 180-degree turn, they scale up another flight of stairs. And then they see this person almost immediately already. This is very helpful because now SWAT knows that there is someone inside of this structure. Yeah. And they know where they are and they know that, you know, this person isn’t holding anything.
That they’re not armed. So, now we’re seeing this person, they have a crisis negotiation team member call up the drone. They start calling out to, to the lady that they see, but she isn’t really having it. Then she kind of gets this look in her eye and she starts beckoning the drone to follow her.
It’s like, man, that. Kind of sketchy, but, they decided they, they wanted to keep eyes on. So they’re, she’s beckon into the drone, the pilot’s following her. They get into this room, this kind of like large walk-in closet type situation. She’s inside, she’s still beckoning the drone to follow her.
The second the drone clears the door into this room, she goes and runs past it to try to get. To try to lock the drone inside of the closet . It’s like a scary movie dis. I know. But our pilot was fast and saw this happening, so he pitched the Drone really hard backwards to try to get out before it was locked in, but he crashed.
He pitched so much that it was going pretty fast, crashed into the wall. We end up on our back. We’re like, geez, like, I hope the drone isn’t busted. But then we see like our camera moving. It’s like, how’s that happening? Our props are off. She grabbed it. So she grabbed the drone. She’s holding, both sides of it with the camera looking right at her face.
We can see both of her hands on either side of our ducks holding onto this thing. The crisis negotiation team is now talking to her, and she’s actually responding while she’s holding the drone. Wow. And the team makes the decision because again, they know where she is. We’ve seen the entire structure.
We know there’s no one else inside. We know she’s not armed. We saw her. And we know that both of her hands are on either side of this. drone. The SWAT team made the decision to go to that exact room. Second story, they knew where she was, to just grab her and accomplish the rest. And they did that safely.
00:33:55 Haye Kesteloo: So that was, that’s an amazing story. She must have, I wish I could have seen the look on her face when that drone flew up the staircase. He was like, what?
00:34:01 Blake Resnick: Yeah. People do freak out a little bit.
00:34:02 Haye Kesteloo: How I would be, I mean, especially a few years ago, that would’ve been crazy.
00:34:05 Blake Resnick: A lot of the, I mean, especially if they’re high on drugs, which is, you know, frequently, like frequently a component to the SWAT call out.
One thing that we found is pretty effective though, is teams will use their speakers to explain what’s about to happen. You know, we’re going to send in a small drone to try to talk to you, and. , that is a good idea and a tactic we recommend.
00:34:26 Haye Kesteloo: Yeah. You can communicate and talk and listen and try to convince them.
00:34:30 Blake Resnick: Yeah, exactly. But I’ll tell you what I mean. Yeah. A suspect runs out of a house and surrenders is, that’s a, it’s the best-case scenario. It’s extremely good when that happens because you’re not risking a gunfight. Right. I mean, the alternative to our technology a lot of the time is sending in SWAT operators.
Into an environment they don’t understand, and risking a gun. So that’s, yeah. You know, that, that is fundamentally the value of our technology is creating that to prevent all that, you know, reducing the probability of escalation.
00:35:03 Haye Kesteloo: I kind of want to go back to, what we briefly touched upon earlier in this conversation.
You mentioned that you guys had sent one or more drones to Turkey. There’s been a massive earthquake. I think the most recent numbers were that maybe as many as, 50,000 people might have died during, that earthquake. Can you tell us, How many drones you guys sent and what the purpose was and how they’ve been used?
00:35:24 Blake Resnick: Yeah, absolutely. So we sent a team of two people. They had three or four airframes. Primarily their missions were looking for survivors in these buildings, or identifying remains unfortunately, by the time we got there, a lot of buildings completely collapsed.
Many buildings also only partially collapsed. But yeah. This can prevent, this can cause some major challenges because, you know, internal stairways might no longer, you know, be usable. Entrances to buildings might be obstructed, by huge piles of rubble. These buildings also aren’t always structurally stable.
They frequently aren’t structurally stable after an earthquake like that. And what we found, especially with all of these aftershocks, is, you know, there were additional collapsed buildings that were going down after the original wave hit, which was terrible and increases the risk for, you know, first responders to enter these things to look for people.
So that’s pretty much what our tools were used. You know, flying inside, looking in specific rooms, and trying to identify.
00:36:36 Haye Kesteloo: And your microphone system is so sensitive that somebody was underneath rubble and they call out for help, you might be able to pick it up?
00:36:43 Blake Resnick: That’s correct. But even that’s amazing. Even just our camera system, can help quite a lot.
00:36:49 Greg Reverdiau: What’s the, what’s the one piece of technology that maybe doesn’t exist yet or is not realistic to place on a drone that you would like to see in the next two to five years? What’s, what’s the holy grail that really we, we don’t have access to?
00:37:05 Blake Resnick: Yeah, I mean that’s, that is a very interesting question. I mean, I think like battery technology might be a reasonable answer. Like much more energy dense batteries would be extraordinarily helpful. So, that, that is up there. One, one component that we’re struggling to find a little bit right now is, like high optical zoom.
4K block cameras with global shutters. So like, that’s a very specific answer. Like that, that, that would be one thing. I would say like digital video transmitters, you know, mesh ne2rking radios that are competitive with analog inform factor and power consumption, would be another one that would be extraordinarily helpful.
I think HD thermal imagers, like full-blown, you know, 10 p or better thermal imagers would be, really exciting. I mean, all of these things would enable some very cool, future products
00:38:06 Haye Kesteloo: Would, would be the Lemur 3.
00:38:07 Blake Resnick: Sounds like something like that. Yeah. I mean, we’re gonna just for Yeah, go for it.
So go ahead. Go ahead. No, I was just saying we’re going to keep working on these things, so, as technology improves across the industry, we’ll implement it and hopefully drive it forward to bit ourselves, just
00:38:22 Haye Kesteloo: for people to understand. I mean, k you gives us an idea of how many of your drones are currently being used and where are they being used, not, maybe not even just in the US but maybe also elsewhere in the world.
00:38:31 Blake Resnick: We’ve built over a thousand, Lemurs. So that’s across, you know, Lemur and lemur S, almost all of which in the past 24 months. , wow. Most of our customers are in the United States, but we have others in EU and APAC, so I don’t know the exact number of countries where technology’s operating, but it’s, that’s a few dozen.
00:38:52 Haye Kesteloo: Yeah, that’s crazy. A thousand and old design developed, built manufacturers assembled, shipped from the United States. That’s. . That’s amazing. Congratulations, . It’s impressive. Yeah, I agree.
00:39:04 Blake Resnick: No, thank you. I think, yeah. I think surprisingly, we are definitely one of the, one of the largest US drone companies at this point.
00:39:11 Haye Kesteloo: Yeah. Are you expecting a lot of people who currently use the Lemur or Lemur s to be like, Hey, we need the upgrade. We want to Lemur 2, because I mean, you’re taking a lot of their boxes on their wishlist. I would.
00:39:22 Blake Resnick: Yes, we do. And we are happy to provide some trading discounts, so, yeah, very much so.
00:39:27 Greg Reverdiau: Very cool. Well, I think, we’ve used quite a bit of your time. We really appreciate that. I think, it might be time to wrap it up, but, I, we really wanna thank you for taking the time to, to be there. Are you guys going to be in Texas in, Burnett in next week?
00:39:40 Blake Resnick: Yeah. For the Texas public Safety. I’ll see you guys over there.
00:39:46 Greg Reverdiau: Yes. I’m sure you’ll be doing demos of the Lemur too.
00:39:50 Blake Resnick: So demos start next month. So we are bringing some like kind of representative units, demos start next month, but yeah, we’ll be there. Happy to show you the stuff. Yeah, go hands on a little bit so you can get at least a feel for kind of what we’re building.
00:40:03 Haye Kesteloo: Yeah. Yeah. That’s awesome. May maybe as a last question, if I was a police chief in any police department anywhere in this country, what, where do people go to find out and learn more about Lemur 2? Like, how do I figure out what this drone can do for my department and maybe test it?
00:40:17 Blake Resnick: I mean, brincddrones.com is a great place. Brincdrones.com. You can learn all about sort of just broadly what we built there. We talked a little bit about use cases as well. You can request a demo, so. A lot of our customers want to see our technology in person and actually function, you know, at least once before they, you know, they make a purchase, which we are more than happy to provide.
So, our first demos will begin, like basically early April, first week of April. So you can request an demo there, set up a time, send some, you know, folks from our team and equipment out to your location and. Show you what we built in person. Awesome. Thank you. Cool. Outstanding. Yeah, thanks for having me. This has been a lot of fun.
00:41:04 Haye Kesteloo: Well, yeah. Awesome. Thanks for joining us today,.
00:41:09 Greg Reverdiau: Awesome. Yeah. Well, we’ll, we’ll be posting this on Tuesday and then, if anybody has questions they can reach out on the website and thanks for your time.
00:41:17 Blake Resnick: Amazing. Thank you guys.
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