About Qelzal

Our Purpose

Qelzal has invented a new vision technology that lets commercial drones safely fly faster and farther without crashing into objects either in the sky or on the ground. This approach processes input more quickly, is less power intensive, and works in more light conditions than any existing technology.

Qelzal delivers an autonomous drone Sense and Avoid system using Image Free Sensing™ combined with brain-inspired artificial intelligence for rapid response and collision avoidance. Qelzal’s “intelligent eyes” perceive objects, determine if they are a threat, then plan a path to avoid. The onboard AI system performs in diverse light conditions, without adding unnecessary power or weight.

This capability is ideal for use in aircraft avoidance and infrastructure inspection.

Leadership

The Qelzal Team comprises the critical and necessary combination of business experience with deep roots in the community and visionary technology expertise uniquely qualified to bring the state-of-the art Perception Appliance™ (object and action recognition) to the transportation and surveillance market.

 

Dr. Olivier Coenen, CEO, Chief Scientist, Founder

Dr. Coenen brings brain-inspired engineering ideas developed from his work at the Salk Institute, Sony, and the Brain Corporation. At Brain, he designed “an artificial nervous system for UAV’s” as part of a DARPA project. Olivier’s work has been the basis for funding in his previous positions and he has participated in the development of numerous patents. His interests and experience includes deep learning, machine learning, signal processing and robotic control. Olivier has a PhD in Physics from UCSD.

Company Development

Founded in 2014, Qelzal was formed to leverage expertise in natural vision systems, deep learning, and machine vision.  Novel advances in electro-optical sensors presented particularly interesting opportunties to make meaningful improvements in the operational performance available to the commerical drone industry.  Our primary objective became to make drones safer so as to unleash the economic possibilities presented by the rapidly developing commercial drone market.

A fast obstacle avoidance system was developed in part under a DARPA SBIR grant by Qelzal. An airborne High Performance Sense and Avoid system was developed in part as an NSF SBIR project. Qelzal seeks business and development partners to aid in bringing this important technology to world markets.

A fast obstacle avoidance system was developed in part under a DARPA SBIR grant.

An airborne High Performance Sense and Avoid system was developed in part as an NSF SBIR project.

Qelzal is an EvoNexus Portfolio Company. EvoNexus is Southern California’s leading tech startup incubator.

Qelzal is a finalist in San Diego Venture Group’s Cool Companies 2017

 

Qelzal has benefited from participating in the LightSpeed Innovations accelerator, a leading aerospace accelerator focused on disruptive and differentiated businesses with patent-able and protected ideas.


Qelzal is a member of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce