KnackForge Partners with FIRST iZ for 911 Autonomous Drone Platform


Source: KnackForge

Texas-based tech firm KnackForge this week announced a partnership with drone company FIRST iZ to release a patent-pending UAS system.

The system will deploy drones autonomously by 911 operators by leveraging KnackForge’s control systems hardware as well as software for the FIRST Port ecosystem.

KnackForge will oversee the safe and successful launch of a FIRST iZ drone from a smart hangar, or port, that keeps the aircraft charged and ready to fly within seconds of an emergency report. The system marries power/control hardware with software to remotely manage multiple crisis scenarios.

Here’s how the system works:

  • The FIRST iZ ecosystem begins with FIRST Port, a smart, weather-protected, temperature-controlled drone port that houses the drone between flights.
  • The system also includes a novel navigation software package, called Genesis PULSE, for autonomous drone operation and UAVs designed for optimum flight times to arrive first on a scene.
  • The newest FIRST iZ drone models include a folding-wing hybrid vertical-takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) drone capable of 90-minute flight times and upwards of a 75 mph flight.
  • The second model is a quiet quadcopter with a one-hour flight time, designed for surveillance use, or extended hovering missions.
  • FIRST iZ envisions deploying to more 3,000 municipalities over the next seven years.

“FIRST iZ is something we believe in, first because the story of how it will save lives is so compelling,” KnackForge CEO Jeff Strout said.

“We are leveraging our best teams working on both embedded systems interfacing with industrial control hardware and cloud-based systems to offer high availability for first responders.” Strout has also taken a leadership role with iZ in addition to being a long-time advisor.

“We are thrilled to partner with a person who is not only the most detail-oriented person I know, but also a longtime friend,” said Phil Burks, founder of Texas-based FIRST iZ and CEO of The Genesis Group. “We are creating new things together every day and KnackForge excels at beyond the box thinking that makes it possible. Everything they do enables our collaboration to be a perfect recipe for success.”

FIRST iZ will debut its FIRST Port, Hybrid VTOL, and Quadcopter at the AUVSI XPONENTIAL virtual show on October 5-8.



Jason is a longstanding contributor to DroneLife with an avid interest in all things tech. He focuses on anti-drone technologies and the public safety sector; police, fire, and search and rescue.

Beginning his career as a journalist in 1996, Jason has since written and edited thousands of engaging news articles, blog posts, press releases and online content.

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