This list includes our picks for the top 100 drone companies making an impact on the industry right now.
These companies have a lot on their shoulders, especially as new regulations are always coming out and the future of the industry can seem uncertain at times. So we should all applaud them for their contributions to the drone industry.
This article is a useful resource to find interesting companies in the drone industry and support services — including drone manufacturers, drone delivery services, education, training, software, flight operations management, funding sources for drone company startups, and drone services for hire.
The companies are broken up by industry and ordered alphabetically.
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3D Robotics released the Solo drone in 2015, which was the world’s first “smart” drone that made it easier to take photographs using a drone.
Action Drone USA manufactures drones for industrial uses and commercial applications that work with software made by third-party developers.
Aerialtronics DV b.v. is an end-to-end aerial solution developer that utilizes drones, artificial intelligence and IoT to provide businesses with augmented and actionable insights that create a perfect synergy between aerial applications and everyday business operations. Strong areas of operation are law enforcement and industrial enterprise solutions.
Aeryon Labs, Inc. makes rugged drones for commercial aerial camera work that can carry heavy payloads.
AguaDrone manufactures a waterproof drone that is used for fishing and has a sonar finder to locate fish as well as a remote-controlled system to release bait that it can carry.
Air Hogs made by Spin Master are hobby drones made with foam to look like vehicles driven by superheroes like the Batplane and spaceships in movies like Star Trek or Star Wars.
Airspace offers a drone security system to identify, track, and take down unauthorized drones in restricted airspace or those that are flying without permission over private property.
Altair Aerial is a new company from Nebraska that released the Blackhawk drone, which is for hobby flying.
Ambarella makes the electronic chips for drone cameras that allow them to take photos and video in low-light conditions.
Aptonomy creates drones used for security purposes that use artificial software to improve surveillance.
Atlas Dynamics makes automated drone systems that include a charging station for a drone to use. The drone automatically launches, flies a pre-programmed flight, and then returns to the charging station.
Aurora Integrated Systems is based in India. They make long-range tactical drone systems, rapidly-deployable Aerostat-guided systems, and technologies that use inertial navigation controls.
Autel Robotics creates excellent drones made for aerial photography.
BFD Systems started in 2017 making customized drone solutions for heavy payload integration.
Blade makes easy-to-fly quadcopters and mini-drones for beginners.
Cheerson makes popular inexpensive drones for beginners. Their CX-13 is one of my all-time favorite quadcopters.
CyPhy designs and makes custom drones for use to solve commercial problems with robotic tools.
Dedrone makes systems that are used to track drones by monitoring movement patterns, sound, and other parameters to block invasions of privacy and unauthorized drone flights.
DJI is a very popular drone company know for the Mavic models of drones that are suitable for professional drone pilots and commercial photographers.
Draganfly Innovations makes custom drone systems for photography, industrial uses and research purposes.
Drone Aviation Corp. makes commercial drone security systems.
Echodyne provides ground-based airspace management radar and airborne detect-and-avoid radar for commercial UAS.
EHANG designs and makes drones that are controlled by a smartphone. The drone flies easily by using smart algorithms to help reduce pilot errors such as object detection, collision avoidance, and automatic return home in the case of a loss of the communication signal.
Embention makes high-quality custom drones that are suitable for flying anywhere and are good for international uses.
Fat Shark makes cameras, goggles, and accessories used for first-person-view (FPV) drone flying.
FLIR makes imaging solutions that use drones to take thermal images for heat detection, measurement, and research.
Flyability invented the Elios drone, which is sturdy enough to survive a collision and then remains in stable flight after being hit. It is safe to fly this drone near people. It can fly in difficult places that are normally out of reach. It won the UAE Drones for Good Award in 2015, which had the prize of one million dollars.
Force1 manufacturers inexpensive toy drones for hobby photographers.
Freefly invented the Movi Gimbal Stabilizer, which is used to rotate and then hold cameras in position for photography. The make the professional ALTA drone.
GoPro makes very popular camera for extreme sports that can also be attached to drones.
Gryphon Dynamics is known for making big, high end drones for cinematography and industrial applications.
Gryphon Sensors specializes in systems for drone detection, for traffic management for drone flying corridors, and beyond line-of-sight drone-flying.
HighGreat is an innovative company that conducts research and development, manufactures and sales of recreational unmanned aircraft systems like the Mark drone.
Hubsan manufactures popular consumer drones like the X4 series. These are starter quadcopters, which are suitable for beginners.
Infinium Robotics makes drone systems that are autonomous and are used for indoor flying to manage inventory and can create swarm flying effects for promotions.
Insitu manufactures commercial drone and creates software that uses the intelligence gathering by drones such as reconnaissance photos for surveying and mapping. The make the ScanEagle drone designed for agricultural uses. It can also be used for the protection and inspection of oil or gas pipelines.
Intel makes drones and the software controls for aerial light shows that look as good as fireworks. These drones fly in the multiple hundreds at one time. Intel keeps breaking world records for the number of drones that can fly simultaneously.
JJRC is a Chinese manufacturer that makes toy drones and hobby drones.
Kespry makes drones made specifically for aerial photography used in construction, mining, and surveying.
PowerVision Group is a Chinese manufacturer that makes smart drones that fly using virtual reality headsets for first-person-view (FPV) flying.
Propeller Aero is an Australian company that makes integrated drones systems to help manage large construction sites.
Saildrone makes drones for use on water for scientific research, such as weather prediction, ocean current flows, and fish monitoring.
senseFly is a subsidiary of Parrot. This company specializes in drones used for mapping and surveying. They are used for agriculture, industrial applications, mining, and humanitarian aid projects.
SicDrone creates drones designed for maximum flight efficiency for agricultural applications and governmental security projects.
Skydio has the best autonomy in the world, including the ability to operate in GPS-denied environments because of their computer vision-based navigation.
Skylark Drones makes commercial drones for use in agriculture, construction projects, energy sector uses, and mining.
Sky Viper makes hobby drones for aerial videography, and racing. Sky Viper also has a flight simulation application for smartphones to use for self-training.
SkySpecs makes the Guardian drone that has an obstacle avoidance system. It can fly autonomously and is used to inspect infrastructure.
SparrowHawk is made by Search Systems. This is an anti-drone system designed to be attached to a drone. It deploys a net to capture drones in mid-air. This system is used to prevent authorized drone flying in restricted airspace.
Sunlight Photonics makes drones that look like birds that fly using solar power. They can be used as fleets to create temporary communication systems or for security and surveillance.
Syma Toys is a China-based company that manufacturers consumer drones, quadcopters, and helicopters.
TE Connectivity makes the sensors used by drones for collision avoidance and that allow drones to be used in harsh environments and to fly in bad weather.
Teal Drones makes high performance racing drones.
TuffWing is a U. S.-based company that creates drones that are used for aerial mapping. and can carry many types of sensors.
UDI creates inexpensive consumer drones that are priced less than $100.
Uvify makes the Draco racing drone and the new OOri mini drone.
Walkera Technology Co., Ltd. makes small consumer models and commercial drones for agriculture, fire prevention, land surveying, and inspection of energy resources.
Workswell makes infrared imaging equipment and other sensors for drones.
Yuneec makes remote-controlled airplanes. The company makes consumer drones like the Mantis Q, which respond to voice commands. It makes drones designed for commercial applications such as the Typhoon H520.
Drone Delivery Services
Amazon has its PrimeAir service under development with the goal to be able to deliver packages to customers in 30 minutes or less. FAA approval in the United States has not yet been granted for this service (as of January 2019); however, real-world tests are ongoing in the UK.
Flirtey is the first company in America to get FAA approval for drone package delivery. Flirtey wants to be the last-mile solution for the urgent delivery of time-sensitive items such as medical supplies. The FAA approved their delivery methods for remote areas with sparse populations.
Flytrex is a company in Israel that invented a cloud-based drone management system for delivery companies that want to offer their customer point-to-point delivery or point-to-area delivery services.
Matternet makes the Matternet One drone and software controls that are designed specifically for transportation and delivery services.
Project Wing is a Alphabet (Google) project that began in 2017 to deliver food to remote parts of Australia.
Zipline makes drones for use in Rwanda, Africa, to deliver blood and vital medical supplies to remote inaccessible areas.
Education and Training
DroneBlocks created a complete system for educators to use to teach students about drones in a project-style teaching environment.
Drone Launch Academy provides online training for budding professional pilots to help them pass the Part 107 exam.
Droneport Texas focuses on opportunities for drone flying in the state of Texas by producing public events and offering training activities for first responders.
OnPoynt supplies drones technology to teachers for hands-on training programs so that students can learn to build and fly drones.
PCS Edventures offers drone technology to educators as part of its focus on support for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs.
The Zephyr simulator is made by Little Arms Studios. It is a good simulator to use to learn drone flying.
Software, Artificial Intelligence, and Cloud-Based Solutions
1 Martian Way is a company from India that specializes in developing artificial intelligence software for use with drone technology.
3DR build drones systems for construction projects and for use by engineers. This system is used to create high-resolution maps and 3D models.
Agribotix focuses on creating drone technology systems for use in agriculture. It produces data processing software that is used to analyze photos of agriculture.
Airware makes the Aerial Information Platform. This software helps operate a commercial drone fleet that follows government regulations and meets insurance requirements.
Ascending Technologies produces drone flight systems to control drones for many industrial, research, and commercial purposes.
Avision Robotics develops software used to create models and for simulations. The company created a software control system for the communication and navigation needs of drone fleets that are used in agriculture, construction, and mining.
Bentley created ContextCapture. It is a cloud-based and on-premises solution that helps produce complex 3D models of real-world projects up to the scale of a large city. It is used to help make decisions about the design, construction, and management of infrastructure projects.
Betterview helps architects and construction firms make better building decisions through the use of aerial drone photography and surveys.
Botlink makes automated drone flying software.
Citadel Defense makes a software security system to stop unauthorized drone flights in real-time.
Datumate is a data analytics company. They create safety-monitoring solutions for construction applications. The company creates automated, precise, cost-effective solutions that help keep crews on a construction project safe.
DroneDeploy created cloud-based drone software, which works with any drone that is controlled by a smartphone. With this software, it is possible to create 3D models and maps for analysis. This data can be shared from a smartphone connected to a drone.
Esri built ArcGIS mapping software. ArcGIS allows people to connect, get maps, send data, and use apps with data from geographic information systems (GIS).
Fortem makes collision avoidance software for drones and perimeter drone security systems for controlled airspace and critical infrastructure.
Gamaya uses hyper-spectral image capture and technology to help farmers with more accurate agricultural inspection data.
GeoCue Group creates software tools for use with kinematic LIDAR data.
Identified Technologies makes drone-tracking software for commercial drones that improves productivity.
Iris Automation specializes in making software and solutions to help drones with collision avoidance.
Maps Made Easy created software that allows drone pilots to make their own maps by using accurate, high-resolution imagery.
Neurala has artificial intelligence software that can be used to control a drone or a fleet of drones.
Pix Processing invented a software application to use for 3D reconstruction of structures based on aerial and handheld images. This software is used for archeology, architecture, agriculture, insurance, lumber, and mining.
Pix4D created photogrammetry software that uses digital photos taken by handheld devices, drones, helicopter, or planes to combine them together for panoramic viewing
PrecisionHawk provides software tools to use data collected by drones and process it to create 3D terrain mapping.
Raptor Maps offers software to create maps made from drone data that uses artificial intelligence with thermal analysis to create insights.
Skycatch systems use an analysis of drone-captured data to help engineers and construction managers better manage their operations with actionable information.
SLANTRANGE uses drone-captured images and multi-spectral sensors to produce accurate, calibrated, analytics for agricultural operations.
Uplift Data Partners uses the analysis of drone-captured aerial images to discover insights that improve construction project performance metrics.
Flight Operations Management
AirMap invented drone system technology to manage airspace below 500 feet. This system provides accurate and reliable navigational support and communications for the drone industry.
Drone LogBook offers a flight-management system for drone pilots to help them maintain flight logs and manage batteries, equipment maintenance, accident incidents, location information, and pre-flight inspections.
Kittyhawk is a drone pilot’s software tool to log flying, record important data, and coordinate drone operations.
Measure offers software tools for drone-flying businesses that help to reduce operating risk and manage capital expenditures.
Skyward is a flight-operations management system used by drone operators and drone fleet managers.
Unifly makes software for fleet traffic management of drones to help them fly in authorized drone airspace corridors and prevent drone flights into restricted areas.
Drone Racing Leagues
DR1 hosts drone races throughout the world. In 2017, DR1 was the first drone racing organization to host a drone race live on broadcast television. The race appeared on CBS News.
The Drone Racing League organizes drone racing events all over the world. DRL offers the DRL racing simulator in order for beginners to practice and learn how to become a drone-racing pilot.
MultiGP produces an annual American drone racing championship that accepts entries from the winners of the drone races sponsored by local racing chapters.
AUVSI produces an annual conference for the promotion of drones and robotics called the AUVSI XPONENTIAL.
Commercial UAV Expo is one of the leading tradeshows for the commercial drone market in North America. It invites the participation of manufacturers from all over the world.
InterDrone is a very popular drone conference for consumer and commercial drone enthusiasts that is held each year in Las Vegas during September.
New York City Drone Film Festival is a film festival dedicated to the best drone videos created in the world.
Unmanned Systems Canada produces events for Canada’s drone industry and supporters.
Drone Company Funding Sources
GENIUS NY has an annual competition that offers six, startup drone companies $500,000 each to cover a year of their initial operations.
SkyFund is a venture capital fund that invests in startup drone companies.
Aerial MOB provides professional high-quality aerial photography for cinematic projects such as films and television commercials. The won an Emmy for their work.
Arch Aerial provides drones services for aerial imaging, data collection, and mapping.
Drone America provides professional drone services for agricultural uses, research, anti-poaching surveillance, and other commercial needs.
DroneBase is a drone-pilot resource-locator service that allows you to hire a drone pilot for a project or become a freelance drone pilot listed on the system.
DroneCast is an advertising agency that specializes in using drones for advertisements, promotions, and marketing campaigns.
Dutch Drone Company offers a wide range of aerial services, including inspections, mapping, agriculture, and more.
Firmatek provides site data analytics and aerial mapping services using drones.
Congratulations to all of these companies for the incredible work they're doing in the drone industry.
They will all play a vital role as the industry continues to expand.