NAR (Next Automated Robots) is a Beirut-based startup that develops smart drone-based solutions by integrating with drones and analyzing and processing data on the fly. NAR started as a final year project at the Lebanese American University back in 2014 before evolving into a startup and is currently planning to launch its first commercial product to be available in 3 months. NAR has already undergone three acceleration programs and won the Microsoft Imagine Cup in May 2015.
NAR does not build drones. Instead, it works with drone manufacturers to supplement their models with their software and hardware if needed. Their current model works on detecting gas and oil leaks but their aim is to go beyond oil and gas and tackle other fields like “wildfire monitoring, agriculture, rescue, surveillance, shipping and traffic monitoring”.
How does NAR work?
Their software is integrated with existing drone models and sensors are added to enable data processing on board the drone, and in turn reduce the amount of data being sent and the time needed to do so. Therefore, instead of sending large chunks of data from the drone to analyze, they process this data and send useful reports, for example the coordinates and size of a gas or oil leak once detected.
I think their solution has potential and can definitely be used in Lebanon for wildfire monitoring and border surveillance among other things. Traffic monitoring will be obviously useless.