Sphere Drones which has become one of Australia’s leading drone, land-borne and sub-sea Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) has expanded following its acquisition of Rise Above Custom Drones and Robotics on 17 March.

Sphere Drones founder and CEO Paris Cockinos told Neos Kosmos that the acquisition would allow Sphere Drones to further diversify in an ever-growing market. Rise Above would focus on providing training and education to new entrants in the field, while Sphere will continue to expand its commercial presence in an expanding commercial field.

As reported in the Australian Financial Review the acquisition would give Sphere Drones a base of 100,000 customers and a revenue of around $20 million. Sphere Drones has 60,000 customers and also sells airborne drones, as well as land-borne robots and sub-sea ROVs to large commercial and state organisations. Its customers include the big mining houses of BHP, Fortescue, Rio Tinto as well as Agriculture Victoria, Sydney Trains, Sydney Water and NSW Police.

Rise Above with its 40,000 users who are mainly private individuals and recreational users of drones which Mr Cockinos said included an educational component.

A portion of recreational drone users will evolve to commercial use which will benefit Sphere Drones.

“We are always looking at opportunities to scale our business. Over the past 10 years, Sphere Drones has successfully provided drone solutions to thousands of organisations and consumers. The acquisition of Rise Above provides us the opportunity to expand our reach,” Mr Cockinos said.

The acquisition will enable a greater focus on strategy and direction with its sites fixed on growing nationally and on a global level.

“The acquisition means we are able to effectively segment our consumer and commercial marketing and positioning to further enhance our capabilities and pursue our vision – to enable and inspire individuals and organisations to realise their potential using air, land, and waterborne roving technologies,” Mr Cockinos said.

According to a Deloitte Access Economics report commissioned by the federal government in 2020, the drone industry will contribute $14.5 billion to the national economy by 2040. It will employ up to 5,500 people annually. The industry is currently estimated to be worth $5.5 billion.

The report stated that the growing drone sector in the economy would provide savings of $9.3 billion to businesses over the next 20 years including savings of $2.95bn for agricultural, forestry and fishing industries, $2.4bn for the mining sector and $1.34bn for construction

The increased use of drones is across the board. Mining companies now operate fleets of them where just a few years ago, they were used in isolated cases. They allow for operations to continue in dangerous situations without danger to the people operating the drones and ROVs and they do the work quickly and cheaply.

Sphere Drones developed out of Mr Cockinos passion for remote-controlled aircraft from age 10. He also worked in his grandfather’s TV and radio communication workshop to improve the control boards of his helicopters. His father, Jack, specialised in two-way radio communication used in the airline, retail and construction industries and emergency services. These products and services are marketed under the Paris Radio brand, part of the Sphere Drones group of companies.