MTJB Engineering, based at tech and science innovation hub Future Space in Bristol, has announced it is developing an innovative versatile drone.

The company is working under guidance of the armed forces to bring a multi-purpose drone to the market.

The system-engineering company works across two subdivisions: distinct systems engineering services for customers and internal research. It works predominantly in the aerospace and defence sectors.

MTJB’s latest project, described by managing director Mark Gilbert as a ‘mission-adaptable drone’, has just received the funding needed to start phase one of concept development.

The finished project will be a semi-autonomous, unmanned system that with minor input from the consumer, can be adapted to fit specific requirements.

Drones have a myriad of practical uses but, currently are built for specific purposes. For example, you tend not to use a surveillance drone for filmmaking or oil and gas exploration. MTJB endeavour to find a solution to this with the release of their product. 

MTJB has been in discussion with the military after identifying a gap in the market, but the finished product could also be used by the emergency services.

Mark said: “I come from a military background and understand the end user’s needs. when we presented the idea of the product to the armed forces, we received a very positive response to its features.”

“The drone will be semi-autonomous, adaptable, simple to use and affordable – which means the product offers freedom to adapt to any situation and provide a variety of capabilities, an integral component for military use.”

Commenting on the progress of the research and development (R&D), Mark said: “Being based at Future Space has been paramount to the product development and it was thanks to our ties of the innovation hub that we secured the funding.

“As Future Space has such close links to the University of the West of England (UWE), it’s great to be able to make connections with the students.

“Everyone benefits from the collaboration as the students get the chance to work with a real business and we get to tap into their unique solutions.

“The students are encouraged to think outside the box and this often results in formulating ideas that are more innovative than what is currently in the marketplace.”

Future Space centre director, Elaine McKechnie said: “It’s always exciting when a Future Space customer launches a new project.

“At Future Space we advocate collaboration, so we’re thrilled that MTJB has had such a positive experience of working with the UWE Bristol students.

“MTJB’s announcement is precisely the kind of developments we hoped to help facilitate when opening Future Space. It’s incredible to watch SMEs grow, especially when they are engaging in such unique innovations.”

The MTJB team are already looking at moving to the next phase of this internal research project and are seeking additional funding.

Submitted on 31/08/2018