MSA Safety announces investment and collaboration agreement with Swiss Autonomous Drone Technology Firm to enhance fire service offerings
PITTSBURGH — MSA Safety Incorporated (NYSE: MSA), the global leader in the development, manufacture and supply of safety products that protect people and facility infrastructures, today announced it has established a Joint Development Agreement with Perspective Robotics AG of Zurich, Switzerland. Established in 2014, Perspective Robotics AG develops advanced situational awareness tools that utilize tethered drone technology for first responder applications under the brand name Fotokite.
The two companies will collaborate to advance fire scene situational awareness, both locally and through the cloud, through the development of enhanced products and services that leverage key strengths of both organizations -- Fotokite’s expertise in autonomous and actively tethered drone technology and situational intelligence solutions and MSA’s deep experience in developing breakthrough products, systems and technologies for firefighter safety and accountability.
“This is an exciting partnership for all of us at MSA, because it opens the door for us to explore new-to-world ways to enhance and simplify firefighter safety through increased situational awareness,” said Greg Martin, MSA Safety’s Vice President of Product Strategy and Development. “Identifying and adapting new technologies in ways that improve worker safety is really the foundation of the MSA mission. Our collaboration with Fotokite aligns very well with that mission. I know from a product development standpoint, our engineering teams are excited to begin this work and start thinking about the many possibilities that exist when you’re thinking from a birds-eye perspective.”
“Our entire team is excited about the opportunity to have a market leader such as MSA Safety onboard,” said Chris McCall, Fotokite Chief Executive Officer. “Both MSA’s investment and our joint development roadmap build a strong foundation towards expanding each other’s game-changing solutions for firefighters,” he said. Dr. Sergei Lupashin, Founder and Chairman of Perspective Robotics AG, added: “It has been clear from the start that we both share a common mission focused on safety and having a passion for the fire service. Our unique technology solution combined with MSA’s strong presence and brand in the fire service will allow us both to accelerate innovation and enhance firefighter safety.”
About MSA Safety
Established in 1914, MSA Safety Incorporated is the global leader in the development, manufacture and supply of safety products that protect people and facility infrastructures. Many MSA products integrate a combination of electronics, mechanical systems and advanced materials to protect users against hazardous or life-threatening situations. The company's comprehensive product line is used by workers around the world in a broad range of markets, including the oil, gas and petrochemical industry, the fire service, the construction industry, mining and the military. MSA's core products include self-contained breathing apparatus, fixed gas and flame detection systems, portable gas detection instruments, industrial head protection products, firefighter helmets and protective apparel, and fall protection devices. With 2020 revenues of $1.35 billion, MSA employs approximately 5,000 people worldwide. The company is headquartered north of Pittsburgh in Cranberry Township, Pa., and has manufacturing operations in the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America. With more than 40 international locations, MSA realizes approximately half of its revenue from outside North America. For more information visit MSA's web site at www.MSAsafety.com.
Established in 2014, Fotokite is a spin-off from ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), one of the world’s top ranked universities in science and technology and a leader in cutting-edge research and innovation in the area of robotics and intelligent systems. Fotokite's mission is to help teams save lives by providing the best technology and actionable intelligence to first responders. Fotokite’s autonomous drone systems add a layer of situational awareness on the fire ground by giving incident commanders an additional set of eyes. In use, Fotokites are typically mounted to a fire vehicle and do not require a pilot operator. With the push of one button, the drone is positioned quickly and easily to capture live high-definition and thermal video intelligence that incident commanders can use to assist with decision making, firefighter accountability and fireground tactics. Fotokite has offices in Zurich CH, Syracuse NY, and Boulder CO. Fotokite is the winner of the GENIUS NY 2018 1st Prize, 2015 Qualcomm Ventures QPrize Europe, and has been featured on the TED stage. Fotokite is backed by MSA Safety, Swisscanto Invest, Credit Suisse Entrepreneur Capital, Sony Group Corporation, 360 Capital Partners, and Qualcomm Ventures, and supported by programs such as the Technology Fund and EU Horizon 2020 SME grant #856120. For more information, visit Fotokite’s web site at www.fotokite.com