Christophe Martin has invented a floating pleasure drone, equipped with artificial intelligence and controllable remotely from the harbor master's office.
The entrepreneur created the Monthabor company in Saint-Nazaire two years ago and hopes to market his product next spring.
Christophe Martin is not an engineer. This entrepreneur from the Paris region nevertheless invented an object in the field of high technology in 2019: a floating pleasure drone, equipped with artificial intelligence and remotely piloted from the harbor master's office. “I am passionate about pleasure boats,” explains the man who founded the Monthabor company with his wife Michèle two years ago in Saint-Nazaire. During stopovers, it was often complicated to maneuver and find your place in the port where you had to moor. It's accidental, parking a boat is not like parking a car… ”The idea of a drone in the service of boaters then germinated in Christophe Martin's head.
The latter sees three advantages: "welcoming boats that do not know the port and accompanying them to the place determined by the harbor master's office, using artificial intelligence to locate available places and, finally, a cleaning function with a collection of floating waste ”.
This ultimate function is nothing new because there have been cleaning robots for several years.
On the other hand, a drone serving as a guide for boats, "it's a world first", according to Christophe Martin, who has filed a patent with the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI).
The drone is equipped with cameras and a horn
The project has received an extremely favorable response from boaters and especially from the harbor authorities. “In high season, port personnel are often overwhelmed, or on the water. The drone allows agents to be released from certain missions and therefore gives them more time to welcome them on the pontoons. "
To design this drone equipped with cameras, an audible warning device and a docking station for recharging the electric batteries and launching it, Christophe Martin has surrounded himself with many service providers.
“I called on prototyping companies.
He invests a lot of time and energy to the point of shutting down his company specializing in rope work.
Almost 350,000 euros in equity.
He also receives aid.
The project is the winner of the competition "Let's invent the port of the future at La Turballe" and the call for projects "Pays-de-la-Loire innovative marina".
The region is helping it to the tune of 106,000 euros.
Our dossier on drones
For several weeks and until December, numerous tests have been carried out in the port of La Turballe.
At the beginning of July, the Monthabor company acquired premises and offices in Saint-Nazaire.
An employee will soon be recruited.
Objective: "the marketing of a product which is intended only for marinas next spring".
Christophe Martin, who “for the moment has no intention to purchase”, rather imagines “an economic model for the 36-month rental” of his drone because “it is a product that will be scalable”.
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