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Remote control

Morgan Walker, inventor of new aircraft hangar monitoring system HangarBot, tells Business Airport International about the solution's modern approach to hangar monitoring and safety

 

The HangarBot hub (green device)

HangarBot, a new aircraft hangar monitoring system, was unveiled last month by Los Angeles-based Lynk Remote Technologies. The new solution, which has been in development for the past two years, was debuted at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, in Wisconsin earlier this year, and promises to offer the general aviation industry a new modern approach to hangar monitoring and security. Business Airport International speaks to Morgan Walker, HangarBot’s inventor and president of Lynk Remote Technologies, about the new development.

What is HangarBot and what can it do?
HangarBot allows users to control, automate and secure their hangar, all from their smartphone. The product consists of a wall-mounted hub (that operates on a cellular signal), which is controlled by the HangarBot app. Upon installation, users wirelessly connect devices within their hangar to the hub, and are then able to control those devices through the app.

How much will it retail for?
HangarBot will retail for US$399 for the hub. Once users purchase the hub, they select a monthly data plan. Our data plans are offered so that HangarBot is not dependent on wi-fi to operate; we understand that most hangars are located in remote areas, so operating on a cellular data connection is the best option.

We offer three different monthly data plans for our customers, starting at US$10 per month. All HangarBot requires to operate is a cellular signal and an Apple iOS device for the HangarBot app.

Why was this solution developed?
There really haven’t been any major technological advances in hangar management. We saw a void in the market for modernizing the hangar and making that technology easy and convenient.

The concept of automation certainly isn’t a new one. For example there are a lot of options out there for home automation. The general aviation hangar market isn’t a particularity large one – not compared with the home market at least) – but we saw that there was a need for something like HangarBot.

How did the idea for HangarBot come about?
I am a private pilot and have been developing products within the Internet of Things (IoT) space for the past four years. The idea originally started when I built a mobile app and hardware for a friend to remotely open a hangar door. This app was really useful among our group of friends who share the hangar. We explored additional pieces of hardware that could be integrated, ideas were spurred from that point on, and they make up the feature set that HangarBot is initially rolling out with. With a passion for aviation and an IoT development skill set, I am able to lead product development teams to successfully build a product that pilots will actually use.

What was the thinking behind the design?
The design is very unique and inspired by both functionality requirements and aviation influence. The device has a dome that is used for the security camera and motion detection; and the ‘wings’ on the side are reminiscent of an aircraft, or spaceship for that matter.

The aim of HangarBot is not to help catch theft or monitor damage (although it can certainly do that), but rather help prevent it. Having a visible security device will discourage, for example, neighbors from ‘borrowing’ that wrench, or encourage the FBO line staff to take extra care when maneuvering the aircraft in and out of the hangar.

HangarBot was announced at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh in July – what was the reaction?
We were really pleased with the amazing feedback we received after unveiling HangarBot at EAA AirVenture. People were especially excited about HangarBot’s security features, and that they can view security snapshots of their hangar and receive security alerts.

When will the solution be available, and where from?
We are currently accepting pre-orders for HangarBot on our website. We are expected to ship the product starting in the autumn of 2016. Right now, we are only available in the USA, but we look forward to expanding our market into other countries in the future!

Click here to view the HangarBot solution in action.

August 24, 2016

 

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