Zurich – Brandschutztechnik Schlichtiger GmbH intends to offer the aerial situational awareness system created by Zurich start-up Fotokite to German fire services. To this end, the two companies have just agreed on a strategic partnership.

Fotokite from Greater Zurich to supply German fire services with drones

Fotokite, a spin-off from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH), is partnering with Brandschutztechnik Schlichtiger GmbH. The full-range fire service supplier from Magdeburg intends to offer Fotokite Sigma’s technology to its German customers.

This consists of an aerial thermal and low-light camera system, which gives emergency response teams on the ground a clear visual image of the situation on a screen. The system is a sort of camera kite with propellers and sits in a rooftop box built directly into the roof rack of a vehicle. It can be deployed into the air at the touch of a button and stays connected to the station via an ultrathin tether cable. With an IP55 rating and autonomous flight stabilization, Fotokite Sigma can safely be deployed in any weather conditions and any region in Germany.

“This strategic partnership will give German fire brigades access to mission-critical situational awareness at the push of a button,” it was reported in a press release. “The rugged and easy-to-use Fotokite Sigma enables any fire department to gain elevated situational awareness, without the need to establish a timely and resource-heavy drone program.”

Fotokite has received a grant of €50,000 in the context of the European Union's research and innovation program, Horizon 2020. In its project information, the EU rated Fotokite’s technology as “a breakthrough situational awareness solution” and “valuable public safety tool”, which supplies crucial information to firefighters and first responders “providing mission-critical situational awareness to help lifesaving operations”.

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