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Who is the Drone Delivery Pioneer Mr Adam Klaptocz, CEO of the Swiss Drone Manufacturer RigiTech


Adam Klaptocz, CEO of the Swiss Drone Delivery Startup RigiTech

7 SEP 2023

Authored by AJE


We had the opportunity to interview Mr. Adam Klaptocz, the CEO and Co-founder of one of the fastest growing delivery drone manufacturers and operators in Europe, RigiTech. Their company has recently grabbed headlines for successful BVLOS drone delivery projects across Europe, Latin America and the US.


“Focus on your customer and the problem you’re trying to solve. Drones are just a tool like any other, and don’t have a right to exist just because they are exciting and new. If a drone does not do a job significantly better, faster, cheaper than an existing tool, it will never go beyond the demonstration phase. So, get to customers early, and make sure you’re solving their real problem.”

Adam Klaptocz


When and how did it all begin? - Why did the co-founders choose the name RigiTech? Why medical drone delivery?

We are an aerial logistics company founded in 2018 that focuses on creating fully integrated drone delivery solutions. Our drones are designed with a network-first mentality, which we believe is the key to scaling drone delivery into a sustainable business model. The centralized RigiCloud software infrastructure ensures reliable, compliant communications, flight tracking and fleet maintenance management. Our brand name comes from Mount Rigi, located at the heart of Switzerland, it acts as a natural bridge between two cantons. Mount Rigi’s physical attributes embody the true philosophy of RigiTech – creating a sustainable connection between locations.

We’re proud to have secured BVLOS authorizations in several countries in Europe, LATAM and Asia, and to have gained significant experience in the healthcare, in-vitro diagnostics, and industrial markets. Our focus on healthcare is fueled by the increased demand to service the global growing ageing population, and we’re inspired everyday by the possibility of applying our technology more broadly, integrating drone delivery into humanitarian projects around the world.

Medical Drone Delivery By RigiTech

In the past 5 years, what has been the most challenging time for RigiTech? Anything from the organization, fundraising to technical challenges.

Over the years, we’ve faced challenges that are common to other tech startups – educating our supporters on the potential of drone delivery until achieving a more broadly adoption of this technology, which we’re beginning to see now across the board. We’ve also challenged ourselves to develop reliable technology, following regulatory guidelines as they are written, as the world of aviation adjusts to the future we’re creating. And we’ve focused on forming the best possible team around this tech – we’ve grown our team in three different countries, bringing a diversity of thought and approaches into our development process, we’ve both taught and learnt from an incredible group of EPFL engineers. All of these ideas coming together feed our innovation machine and allow us to take on extraordinary feats of engineering like the transformation of our flagship airframe, the Eiger, into a delivery drone with internal and external payloads, and a mechanism that offers methodical, on-target Precision Payload Dropping.


Could you please share with us information on the certification status of your e-VTOL drone platform, i.e., BVLOS etc? How would you suggest a better understanding from regulators to expedite the certification process while maintaining safety standards?

Drone delivery is BVLOS by definition, so our focus has always been on enabling BVLOS flights in as many scenarios as possible. We test our systems rigorously according to the latest industry regulations, and work with EASA in Europe, the FAA in the US and our own Swiss Civil Aviation Authority to document and certify those testing campaigns. Our Eiger drone system has now received BVLOS waivers in multiple countries across four continents. Our experience with regulators has almost always been very positive – they have the tough job of enabling innovation while keeping safety of airspace and its users as their primary objective. Much of the work falls back on the drone industry itself, which must show a maturity in their handling of risk and safety if we want to join the greater aviation industry.


What is RigiTech’s manufacturing (scaling-up) strategy in the coming 3 years?

After the release of the Eiger drone system at the end of 2022, we’ve seen much higher demand than we expected, which forced us to scale up manufacturing much quicker than expected. Our founders could take advantage of their scale-up experience at senseFly to quickly implement quality and tracking processes. Supply remains a challenge as we navigate post-COVID shortages and long shipping lead-times, but we mitigate this by finding suppliers closer to our manufacturing base in Switzerland. Many hard lessons remain ahead of us, but we hope our focus on quality and support will build the right foundations for a long-lasting product with our customers.

Precision Drone Delivery by RigiTech

Could you please share with us the latest updates and news from RigiTech?

In January 2023, we launched the first daily BVLOS medical drone delivery service in France, servicing Biogroup laboratories. We’ve also partnered with Spright, a subsidiary of Air Methods, to expand our services in Europe and the US. We’ve successfully implemented a payload dropping prototype for the energy giant Ørsted in Denmark, working with DSV and our partner, Holo. And we’ve launched the first BVLOS routes in Latin America, partnering with Cielum in Uruguay to service hospitals and rural clinics in Tacuarembó.


If you like to share only one lesson with future drone entrepreneurs, what would it be?

Focus on your customer and the problem you’re trying to solve. Drones are just a tool like any other, and don’t have a right to exist just because they are exciting and new. If a drone does not do a job significantly better, faster, cheaper than an existing tool, it will never go beyond the demonstration phase. So, get to customers early, and make sure you’re solving their real problem.

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