Link To Guest Website: Plymouth Rock Technologies
Title: “Customized Advanced Drone & Radar Technology”
Guest: Dana Wheeler of Plymouth Rock Technologies
Interviewer: Jeffrey Davis – MAGE LLC
Click here to read the transcript
Well, the mics are still rolling and we’re still in our studios. This is Radio Entrepreneurs, and we continue to stream stories of entrepreneurship. And clearly, as far as we’re concerned, it’s a very busy economy. Everybody’s still working, trying to work our next guest, DEC Dana Wheeler, director, president and CEO of Plymouth rock technologies. Welcome Dana. Dana, tell us about Plymouth rock technologies.
Well, Plymouth rock technologies was started back in 2016. We got a bunch of guys together from academia and an industry, and we went into the threat detection business at the beginning, but we’ve turned into an aerospace and defense company based on building drones for, for both theft detection, infrastructure inspection, and so forth. So we’re really a drone company now that has a really good radar and sensor background.
And again, so who would be purchasing your radar drones?
Dana (1m 2s):
Well, there’s actually a lot. It’s a lot of applications. Jeffery. In this business, we start with a threat detection. We can talk about surveillance of certain areas, events, football games, that stuff like that. We have radars that can actually detect threats on people. We can penetrate clothing with a millimeter wave radar. It’s the same type of radar that you well when you walk through the body scanner at the airport on it’s at a standoff distance. So that’s the big difference is we do it at much longer distances away from the body. Then the airport security systems do from lighthouse. So that’s one application. The other applications we’re finding is in infrastructure inspection.
Dana (1m 45s):
So all the department of transportation, so doing surveying roads, inspecting bridges and so forth, that’s going to be a big, big market for drones going forward. For obvious reasons, helicopters are very expensive. There’s some risks on insurance liability. An unmanned drone is much easier to get into small places. We manned these with sensors like forward looking infrared sensors, to heat contrast millimeter wave census, or penetration of paint, and look for corrosion on bridge trusses and so forth, and also a LIDAR light radar. So we can, whatever the customer wants us to outfit on the drawing we do.
Dana (2m 27s):
And we kind of build the drone per the customer’s specifications.
Jeffrey (2m 31s):
So I, I would assume that there was existing technology out there and maybe you’re customizing it for your use.
Dana (2m 38s):
We actually acquired a small drone company in the UK that was doing bespoke or custom drones. And I’ll give you a couple examples that we built a drone for the United nations for a mission in Somalia to receive the florists. And they were using small aircraft and they were getting shot down. So they decided to go with drones and use them at nighttime beyond visual line of sight. So we’ve built a custom drone with a pod at the bottom of the drone that would drop the seeds that were rapping fertilizer and so forth. So that’s just one application. We’re also supplying to a one of our resellers and cause that could stand for shell petrochemical for inspection of natural gas and oil pipelines, same thing.
Dana (3m 21s):
You fly the drone right above the pipeline. Look for corrosion. We can put methane sensors on them to see if there’s any leaks and so forth. So these drones that can go in a bunch of different directions as far as inspection of wind turbines and so forth costs a lot of money to put man, I, you know, a, a man and a man lift up there. And obviously the liability is very high. Also,
Jeffrey (3m 45s):
Again, this is all new to me. Do you have your own monitoring sensor? Does the client get trained to monitor it themselves or is it a combination? How does that work?
Dana (3m 55s):
It’s a combination. So we can’t be everyone to everybody on the sensor side. We’re radar microwave and millimeter wave radar specialist. So those we do build in-house other ones that are on the shelf, like flair is a big company. That’s a forward looking infrared sensor. They will probably one of the largest companies that sell clothes in the world. And then we on the LIDAR stuff, we’re working with many different companies that build these specifically lightweight versions that will go on a drone because one of the big things about drones, the figure of merit is flight time versus the amount of payload you can carry. So you have to kind of balance that. So we have three different types of drones right now we have our X one, which is our work cross drone.
Dana (4m 37s):
That’s about it sits on a table, but I’ve got a three foot wingspan has got four motors, actually eight motors on there, that’s our baseline model. And then we have a next one light, which is a much smaller drone. And the difference between these is really flight time and payload capacity. And that’s how we pick what the customer wants. We’ll say, oh, you need an X one because you want to fly it for over an hour and you want to have a 20 pound payload. Then we can pick the right type of design that we’ve already done.
Jeffrey (5m 7s):
Interesting. Dana. So let’s, is there an area where you think people should be buying or an industry where people should be buying more drones and you know, they should, they will in the future?
Dana (5m 18s):
Well, the infrastructure inspection is definitely one of the biggest areas. Not only because the infrastructure bills coming out now, it’s going to be a lot of money spent, especially in the U S but it’s just a, a lower cost, lower liability alternative to flying helicopters and putting men. And manlifts
Jeffrey (5m 37s):
So Dana, how does a guy like you get into this business? What’s sort of precipitated all of this.
Dana (5m 42s):
That’s a good question because we’re radar guys. We started the company as a sensor company that we were going to build sensors, not only to put on drones, but also for standoff re threat detection for airport security. We have a shoe scanner. So you probably don’t know this, but the airports in the U S and in Europe have mandated shoe scanning, separate shoe scanning units, 2024. So we’ve actually got a shoe scanner in the DHS TSA on what they call their idea program, which is a demonstration program. But we see that being, not just an application for airport security, but also in many correctional institutes in prisons, 95% of contraband gets smuggled in through people’s shoes.
Dana (6m 30s):
We also see it playing in. You also see it playing in theft prevention. We’ve talked to Sony entertainment, and they’re telling us that their employees are stealing PlayStation desks and those little micro disc off the production lines. They were putting it on their bodies, but they put body scanners in, and now they are placing them in their shoes. So they want to have these shoe scanners at every employee exit. So I could keep on going on with border patrol, wanting to scan people’s shoes as they come back and forth across the border on a daily basis, but contraband for money, for drugs, for weapons, that type of thing. So that’s how we started. We have IP built on that. We have a couple patents, and then we decided to build a drone, a single drone, just to transport our sensors and test them.
Dana (7m 17s):
And we slowly we’ve quickly realized, I should say that, especially with the ban on Chinese drones in the U S it opened up a big market for us, made drones with us parts. And that, that’s what we went into
Jeffrey (7m 30s):
Reminds me of sort of those security dogs that know how to sniff out just about anything. Is there a, is there a call for this to be used? Let’s say again, border crossings for questionable borders in multiple countries. I can think of where there’s questionable people who can cross different borders. Can it be used in that way?
Dana (7m 49s):
Absolutely. And not only in that way, it can be used for, with, with a ground penetrating radar attached to the drone. They can scan both sides of the wall and they could look for a tunneling underneath the walls. And so exactly right. A surveillance of people coming back and forth, and also for other things buried IED unexploded ordinance, you can bring drones very close to the ground level with a pet ground penetrating radar and see below the surface.
Jeffrey (8m 18s):
So this really is a 22nd, 21st century wall for us using technology, not traditional methods of walls, brick and mortar.
Dana (8m 27s):
Absolutely. And I could keep on going. There’s just so many other applications, the company right now, what we need to do. Cause we are a small company. We need to kind of zero in and focus on the applications that are going to suit us best at the beginning to get some revenue generated for the company. So what we’ve done to date is look at a bunch of the different applications and see what I always call the lowest hanging fruit and go after that and build a fleet of drones there and then move on to the other.
Jeffrey (8m 57s):
It’s all very interesting. How do you think technology is going to change in the next two to three years?
Dana (9m 3s):
I see a lot more, a lot more drones in the sky. The FAA is working diligently to put in rules in place. So you can fly beyond visual line of sight, basically as another aircraft, as another type of even Mandela aircraft, we have to exist with both. There’ll be some big issues out there. So I see a growing the market’s growing rapidly, especially with the ban on Chinese drones in the U S specifically just opened up a huge, huge market for us.
Jeffrey (9m 33s):
All very interesting. I wish we could talk about this more, any chance I can get you to come back through the year and talk more about different projects that you’re working on. This is state-of-the-art protection in every way, but Dana, you only because time is short with Radio Entrepreneurs and our interviews. You know, we just speaking with Dana Wheeler, director, president and CEO of Plymouth rock technologies, Dana, and I could think of more questions as well. If someone’s looking for you in the company, how would they do that?
Dana (10m 2s):
Well, our website is www dot <em></em> dot com, P L Y R O T E C H a. We have a lot of information on there. You can always reach email@example.com. Be happy to answer any questions. We are a publicly held company. We trade on the CSC as PRT, and we also trade on the OTC QB as planned with rectangle.
Jeffrey (10m 27s):
No, I want to thank you very much and remind everybody, this is Radio Entrepreneurs.
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