Science

Drone antennas manufactured in Rouyn-Noranda and sold internationally

True RC President and Co-Owner Hugo Chamberland explains that the company has grown very rapidly since the first antennas were manufactured in 2014.

The business started in our basement. I was the one who made antennas for friends or acquaintances on the Internet or Facebook. Then it got bigger, too big, so we had to register the business. My wife helped us find premises and employees and it has become what we see today., he said.

Passionate about drones for many years, Hugo Chamberland affirms that it is the identification of a need that gave the necessary impetus to the creation of the company.

Needs are the mother of innovation. Drones were always getting smaller and more efficient. The antennas always stayed the same size, so I worked to reduce their size as much as possible while increasing their durability at the same time. , he says.

Antennas manufactured by the Romanian company True RC.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Jean-Michel Cotnoir

Chamberland argues that it is in drone racing, an increasingly popular discipline, that this durability is most tested.

You need really strong cases because people are so good at breaking them. Drones don’t always stay in the air. People go shopping, travel on pleasure flights, so people get inside the walls and sometimes there are crashes, that’s why we make antennas adapted to that much stronger. , he argument.

A company with a global presence

Since the company moved to its premises on rue Murdoch, Hugo Chamberland has noted that between 50,000 and 60,000 antennas are sold each year.

The co-owner of the company and Mr. Chamberland’s wife, Valérie René, points out that the majority of True RC’s sales are made outside of Quebec.

It’s funny, we are not very well known in Canada, especially not in Quebec, it really happens in the United States. If we talk about True RC in America, we are really well established there. We are also in Europe, including France, as well as Australia, South Africa, Brazil, and several other countries., she explains.

The facade of the Ruino-Andean company True RC.

The True RC facility is located on Murdoch Street in Rouyn-Noranda.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Jean-Michel Cotnoir

Ms. René affirms that the company’s clients are both private individuals and large suppliers.

We have many people, sir and madam, all of us, but we also have many resellers around the world and my mission is to keep growing country by country. , assures Valérie René.

He adds that all sales are made through the Internet, but that customers in the region can pick up their products at the company’s facilities, after placing their order online.

Diversify uses

While drones are the main market for True RC, other niches have developed alongside them over the years.

Thus, the successes achieved by the company in the drone market resonated with companies that worked in robotics or industrial processes and that wanted to acquire antennas adapted to their environment.

Regionally, Hugo Chamberland says he sees a lot of potential within the mining industry.

It is a market that we want to get as close to as possible. We have some clients that already work with drones for underground operations and we are working to develop specific antennas for these uses., he says.

Customers in the military sector also use True RC antennas to remotely operate demining robots.

The antennas also make it possible to capture impressive aerial images, thanks to drones used in particular in the film and advertising industry.

We recently shot the Porsche commercial, which was seen several times and it was a great commercial. In Quebec, we are also involved in creating advertisements for the automaker GM.says Valérie René.

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Regarding the company’s growth plans, Hugo Chamberland is optimistic, because remote control of objects represents, according to him, a market for the future.

It is a market of the future because in addition to drones, there is the Internet of Things, which applies to all kinds of everyday things. Either a microwave connected to Wi-Fi, sensors in industrial processes or a refrigerator , give as an example.

A room where an employee works to make antennas.

Many of the antenna manufacturing processes are done manually.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Jean-Michel Cotnoir

To address the labor shortage, Chamberland plans to begin automating some of the processes shortly.

Finding good employees is increasingly difficult. So I launched automation projects to change certain processes, certain ways of doing things, to bring more economies of scale and attack markets such as mines and factories 4.0. , concludes.

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