Davidson Entrepreneurial Start-up Gets Big Contract
Just over 2 years ago, we were at the Hurt Hub as Governor Roy Cooper came to visit.
As Cooper was leaving the building, he took the opportunity to have a short follow-up conversation with one of the student-led entrepreneurial teams. The team started a company that combines flying drone technology with a pressure-washing rig. The governor asked Andrew Ashur, David Danielson, Adrian Mayans how they had come up with their company’s name “Lucid.” Without skipping a beat, Ashur said that they found it while looking through a thesaurus. Cooper replied with a big grin – a “thesaurus, that’s fantastic.”
This past week, we saw a big announcement that Lucid had signed a contract with Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The contract wasn’t to clean windows, it was something new. We reached out to Andrew Ashur to see if he could tell us more, and he enthusiastically said he would answer our News of Davidson questions. The following is that Q&A session.
Q1) The announcement of a contract to help clean Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta is obviously a big boost, what exactly will your drones be doing?
Our drones will be spraying disinfectant solution around the stadium seats. The facilities staff for Mercedes Benz Stadium has a short turn around window between events, as they will sometimes have a soccer game one night, and then have to prepare the stadium for a football game at 1 p.m. the next day. Our disinfecting drones will allow them to efficiently disinfect their stadium in a matter of hours between events.
Q2) How quickly was Lucid able to transition from using your drones to clean windows to using them to disinfect facilities to help keep fans and players safe in the midst of COVID?
Lucid has lived at the intersection of drone technology and cleaning for the last three years, which allowed us to quickly transition from exterior cleaning to spraying disinfecting solution.
In the spring, we began working with the North Carolina Military Business Center to discuss applications for our drone technology in response to COVID-19. After successful testing and validation, we went on to perform demos around the country, ranging from NFL Stadiums to ACC and SEC universities. The biggest technology change was developing a flight mode capable of navigating in GPS restrictive environments, like stadiums, and changing from a tethered hose connected to the drone to a drone that features an on-board tank.
Q3) What else have you been doing since COVID?
The disinfecting drone has been keeping us busy at Lucid! When we first started the company, we set out on a humanitarian mission to create technology that could create a positive, disproportionate impact on the world. In the face of the pandemic, we sought to leverage our technology to provide value for others, and we are excited to be working with great customers, like large universities and professional sports teams. One of our early customers was Texas A&M, and it felt surreal to be down in College Station training their staff, as the last time I had visited Texas was when our Davidson College baseball team played them in Super Regionals.
Q4) What’s next? Has this shift given you and your colleagues any other “out of the box” ideas about your technology?
If you poke your head into our office around lunch time, you’ll hear lots of exciting ideas being shared amongst our staff! At Lucid, we pride ourselves on engineering and assembling our drones locally in the United States, and we want to continue to grow our reputation as a trusted technology provider across multiple applications. While we are focused on the Disinfecting Drone currently, we have aspirations to return to the Cleaning Drone, while continuing to develop hardware and software that has value across a range of drone uses.
Andrew, David, and Adrian have accomplished a lot in a few short years, and we expect that they will keep making important developments that will make the world a better place.