Notes, 9/16 — Location, Location...This ain't real estate! Pork Lewis

To just live in a sparsely populated area presents as many advantages as disadvantages.  But starting and running a business in a rural area, unless it has to do with farming or ranching, is a real challenge.  ARS is based in the middle of Montana in a town with less than six thousand souls.  It’s over a hundred miles to a larger town.  No big box stores.  No major hotels, very few rated restaurants, and just one grocery.  The local merchants are challenged by the online stores just as big city businesses are.  Lewistown is made up of retired ranchers, boomerangers [folks who grew up here, went away for job opportunities, and came back as retirees], and there is a young family group, who live here for the great hunting and fishing more than the work opportunities, and ditto with our professional group.

So when Noel and I decided to base Aerial Robotic Systems here, we knew the location could cause problems.  But here’s the thing.  We started out with the idea of serving rural folks.  The first drone we planned was designed to lift five hundred pounds, as in fertilizer, seed, weed control substances, etc.  But we also knew early on that our UAVs would meet many varied missions; not all to do with farming.  And, we wanted them to assist in public service areas.  Because of where we are that means things like locating lost hunters/hikers, general disaster relief, security, wildlife and stock monitoring, utility line inspection, and very importantly, the annual battle with wild fires.  But, those missions don’t require a huge UAV.  So we scaled down our original bird, still keeping it more powerful with a longer flight duration than what was on the commercial market.  And away we go………

Carl LewisComment