The aerospace and defense industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by automation, environmental sustainability, operational efficiency, and growing importance of technologies such as Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and autonomy, 3D printing/additive manufacturing, and battery technology. As modernization requirements continue to drive investment within both the civil and military aerospace sectors, widespread demand for reconfigurable drone pods has incentivized significant innovation within the field of drones. In the last three years alone, there have been over 237,000 patents filed and granted in the aerospace and defense industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Drones in defense: reconfigurable drone podsBuy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 206,000 patents to analyze innovation intensity for the aerospace and defense industry, there are 110 innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Reconfigurable drone pods is a key innovation area in drones

Reconfigurable drone pods are one of the key innovation areas in drones which basically allows to reconfigure modular and adaptable compartments to accommodate different payloads or equipment. This includes customization of the shape, size, and arrangement of a drone’s body, wings, propellers, and other components to enhance its versatility and meet specific mission requirements.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 20+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established aerospace and defense companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of reconfigurable drone pods.

Key players in reconfigurable drone pods – a disruptive innovation in the aerospace and defense industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.   

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.  

Patent volumes related to reconfigurable drone pods

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Casio Computer 1 Unlock Company Profile
Delta Drone 2 Unlock Company Profile
Amphenol 1 Unlock Company Profile
Parrot 12 Unlock Company Profile
Capital One Financial 2 Unlock Company Profile
BYD 3 Unlock Company Profile
SAMCO 1 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 2 Unlock Company Profile
Inbody 1 Unlock Company Profile
Alcon 1 Unlock Company Profile
Textron 2 Unlock Company Profile 7 Unlock Company Profile
Coretronic 1 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 2 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 1 Unlock Company Profile 2 Unlock Company Profile
SZ DJI Technology 71 Unlock Company Profile
Yuneec International 1 Unlock Company Profile
Prodrone 6 Unlock Company Profile
AVIDRONE Aerospace 1 Unlock Company Profile
LAITRAM 1 Unlock Company Profile
Defendtex 1 Unlock Company Profile
Guangzhou Xaircraft Technology 7 Unlock Company Profile
Biosphere Aerospace 4 Unlock Company Profile
Xaircraft 1 Unlock Company Profile
Liaoning Dralong Uav Technology 1 Unlock Company Profile
Arashi Vision 1 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Biosphere Aerospace is one of the leading patent filers in reconfigurable drone pods. Other key players in this space include Textron and Yuneec International.

In terms of application diversity, Textron is the leading innovator. By means of geographic reach, Biosphere Aerospace  stands out to be the leading patent filer.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the aerospace and defense industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Drones in Aerospace and Defense.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.