About Watts Innovations LLC
Watts Innovations is a company based in Baltimore, Maryland specializing in the design and manufacturing of industrial drones. We have vast experience in the field and know the challenges drone operators face on the job site. This allows us to design and manufacture highly reliable drones that meet the client’s every need.
Having designed, manufactured, and flown all sorts of aircraft including multirotors, helicopters, and hybrid aircraft, we have the knowledge and experience to design and manufacture aircraft that will allow you and your business to fly safely and reliably. We strive to continually think in innovative ways, push the limit on what is possible and to provide the best service in the industry to our customers.
Our talented team has been working with unmanned aircraft for decades. We have been living and breathing unmanned aircraft for most of our lives. Our main passion is creating and refining incredible products that take to the skies to perform valuable services all over the world.
Meet The Team
CEO & Principal Engineer
Bobby has been involved in the radio controlled and unmanned aircraft industry since 2003. Since the time of graduating from the University of South Carolina with his Mechanical Engineering degree in 2010, Bobby has formed businesses and worked on many projects that allow him to have a well-rounded understanding of the commercial drone industry. He has spent countless days on movie sets, using drones to film stunning shots for TV shows and feature films. He has also used drones for infrastructure inspections, entertainment purposes, cargo hauling, and various other applications.
In addition to piloting, he has been designing and manufacturing unmanned helicopters and multirotors for over a decade, giving him a specialized knowledge in the design and manufacturing process of such aircraft. Having that vast experience in both design and piloting allows him to create aircraft from a pilot’s perspective that is also mechanically sound flight after flight.
Principal Electrical Engineer
Caleb is a "Start-Up" minded professional with a passion for learning new things. This makes him adapt quickly to new work environments and challenging situations. He holds degrees in Science and Engineering from the University of South Carolina and Midlands Technical College respectively. He was the founder of Cola MakerSpace in Columbia, SC.
He learned to fly drones, at the time known as model aircraft, under the tutelage of then world champion RC pilot Bobby Watts. He began to design electronics for those aircraft as a hobby and now has over 10 years experience designing drones electronics professionally. He worked for a number of companies as a contractor designing PCBs before accepting full time work as the lead electrical engineer for a large drone manufacturer. There he led a team of engineers in building drones and lighter than air systems. Within Watts Innovations, Caleb heads up the Electrical Engineering team, bridging the gap between electrical and mechanical components.
Principal Software Engineer
Jake is an experienced software engineer and a contributor to the QGroundControl and PX4 Autopilot projects. He earned his BS in Electrical Engineering at the University of Alaska, Anchorage in 2017 with a passion for understanding the border between hardware and software. Jake has a breadth of knowledge surrounding operating systems, embedded systems, software architecture, sensor integration and robotics systems design. He has been working as a freelance software engineer, consulting and contracting for numerous drone companies around the country and the world.
In 2020 Jake began contracting with Watts Innovations, proving to be a valuable contributor to the team with an incredible amount of software development on the PRISM aircraft. Jake was able to take the concept to reality in creating various systems that are used on PRISM including the Propulsion ID technology, software updates, video processing, and an overall clean user experience with the product. Jake continues to push the boundaries of what is possible on the software front in our flying platforms.
More team members to be added shortly!
Watts Innovations: How We Got Here
Watts Innovations LLC was founded in Winter Garden, Florida with the concept of helping customers bring their ideas to life through design and prototyping services. During this time, we assisted customers bring products to real life, prototyping everything from unmanned aircraft to measuring cups, children's play toys to golf tees. During this time, Owner Bobby Watts was 13 years deep in the unmanned aircraft/ radio control word, actively involved with piloting radio controlled helicopters and multirotors on feature films and various other projects.
While assisting customers with designing and prototyping "the next big thing", Owner Bobby Watts was spending a tremendous amount of time on film sets with Jordy Klein of XCam Aerials, as Chief Pilot. During this time, XCam Aerials suddently found themselves in need of a large, heavy lifting multirotor that could carry the latest cinema quality cameras and brushless gimbals with ease. With that, the MFD 5000 heavy lift drone was born.
Initially only building one MFD 5000 Heavy Lift Drone for XCam Aerials, Bobby and the XCam team put the aircraft to work for over one year before a second aircraft was even assembled. This allowed ample time to really get the aircraft dialed in.
In late 2018, we began building custom versions of the MFD 5000 for other customers looking to use it for cinematography and LiDAR scanning purposes.
In early 2019, Watts Innovations relocated to the Baltimore, Maryland area and with that came a ramped up production of the MFD 5000 heavy lift drone. In 2019, Watts Innovations sold dozens of the heavy lift drones to customers all over the world, in a wide variety of applications. Customers were utilizing our drones for various purposes from Cinematography, LiDAR scanning, Infrastructure Inspections, Cargo Hauling, and more. With this came an extensive push on our production and engineering fronts and the realization that a standardized aircraft that could suit various applications was a necessity.
While MFD 5000 production continues, the Engineering team is hard at work for the better part of 10 months, conceptualizing and designing what would be come PRISM, our standardized versatile drone that can be used for practically any application. After months of testing and prototyping, PRISM was proudly unveiled in September and is currently in a pre-order phase for customers world-wide. It is expected to ship in late 2020/ early 2021.