Part of UAV Thrust’s business was designing and selling racing drones that top speeds of 100 m.p.h., like the Riot model flown in competitions by Thrust UAV-sponsored drone pilot Jose Vela, above.
PCS Edventures expects to put its new drone unit to work quickly. The company announced Tuesday that it had secured an $825,000 contract to build and deliver drones to Drones Etc., a dealer in Salt Lake City. The volume and value of the contract could increase, and the companies expect the relationship to continue after the year-long contract expires, PCS Executive Vice President Robert Grover said.
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PCS, which has 20 employees at its headquarters at 345 Bobwhite Court off Parkcenter Boulevard, will provide research and development, drone hardware and a drone-related smartphone application.
Grover said PCS completed the $109,000 UAV Thrust purchase before negotiating the Drones Etc. deal. He said the contract was a product of a longstanding relationship between Drones Etc. and UAV Thrust owner E.J. Duarte, who joined PCS to run the drones division. Duarte’s relationships in the industry could lead to more deals, Grover said.
UAV Thrust grew from one employee to three with the sale, providing Duarte the money, people and supporting experience to scale the drone business, Grover said.
“E.J. is one man with a vision, and now (drone division Business Manager) Joe Egusquiza and PCS are marshaling the resources required to aggressively pursue and achieve that vision,” he said.