DAYTON, Ohio — State-of-the-art, fully autonomous docking stations are setting a new standard in the drone industry and they’re being made in Ohio.

Niv Aharoni is the founder and CEO of StrixDrones and the groundbreaking drone docking station called DroneDock.

What You Need To Know

  • Israeli-based StrixDrones launches manufacturing project in Dayton

  • DroneDock airports are fully autonomous with military-grade materials

  • One goal is to attract the U.S.military

  • Other uses could be for emergency response, agriculture, oil and gas, and mining

Watching his dream come to reality in the birthplace of aviation makes the project extra special.

“Really, really proud. I’m so happy to be here. For me as an Israeli guy to come into the U.S. in Dayton Ohio, this is something special,” Aharoni said.

The docking stations are actually airports powered by an advanced smart system and they’re being built in Dayton, Ohio.

“We are cooling the battery down and starting to charge. We are going to close the door above the unit and it will still have GPS NRF communication so the drone will be prepared for its next mission even if it’s inside the unit,” Aharoni said, during a drone take-off and landing demonstration.

The military-grade docking stations are fully autonomous.

Once a mission is programmed, no one physically needs to intervene because the technology takes over.

“This way the drone will be protected against rain, dust, snow, all weather conditions. From that point, the drone is connected to our unit and we start to charge it and download and upload the data,” Aharoni said.

DroneDock comes in two sizes and can handle just about any drone.

Almost a year ago, StrixDrones opened its U.S. manufacturing facility.

The Dayton area had the skilled workers and subcontractors that the company needed.

“It is very important because we need special materials. You cannot find it all over so Dayton provided us a good ground to build our factory,” Aharoni said.

StrixDrones Ohio employee Aaron Kastein said it's great timing that the company is in Dayton.

“I started to go school for engineering and switched to business so this is kind of falling into place there," Kastein said. "It’s kind of nice.” 

Rob Dudley is another StrixDrones Ohio employee.

“I’ve always liked change and I’ve always liked working with my hands so it’s always been a fascinating thing and this has been extremely fascinating because drones are really interesting and it’s the future,” Dudley said.

Right now if a customer ordered one of these docking stations, it could take about two to three months.

However, the goal is to have them built and ready to go, making the turnaround time only a matter of weeks, and eventually a large space will the warehouse will become a hub for an even larger project.

The latest unit being built in Dayton is called DroneDrop and is already attracting big businesses.

Companies fly their drone, land on the unit, and release the package.

“Then it will be delivered to a safe cell and we are going to send a notification to our customer. The customer will receive a link. He will come up and pick the package up with his own phone,” Aharoni said.

Whether it’s DroneDock or DroneDrop, Aharoni is excited for the future. With one major company already under contract, he’s hoping to attract the US military.

The docks can be placed miles apart and could be the next step for surveillance.  

“Think about it, like, you have 10 or 15 units and 10 to 15 drones on top of it and then at the same time all the drones will take off and fly to the other unit. So in 10 to 15 minutes you cover more than 100 miles and this is the story behind this unit,” said Aharoni.

StrixDrones anticipates hiring an additional 10 employees.

Along with military missions, the company says the docking stations can help in other industries such as agriculture, emergency response, oil and gas, and mining operations.