Interested to see what emerges afterwards…
Did anyone find any of their patents? Many are listed, but my patent searches for KPS and Kite Power Systems turn up empty…
https://www.epo.org/searching-for-patents.html came up with quite a few by using Kite Power Systems as the search term.
I could do with a robot arm kite launcher
Has anyone put down a bid?
JoeF caught at least one KPS patent-
That’s all. 2 Patents.
I found at least 7. But there seem to be a few more which are not searchable, perhaps still waiting to be published?
There are a lot of duplicate versions filed under different country classifications.
In summary, KPS has not been seen as claiming any specific inventive AWE break-through. At most, the IP marks off their design copyright space, with no key blocking concepts.
Note that “blocking IP” requires a patent holder to undertake development and/or license, not just sit on good ideas. Blocking is an active process. If Google, KPS, or any other patent holder, has a key AWE idea, its their play. Litigation and negotiation covers conflict cases. Bad ideas stop moving.
What are the KPS assets for sale, for those who are not LinkedIn members? Is this is good housekeeping, or blood-in-the-water?
Has anyone attended KPS test flights lately? The two-kite single-anchor architecture has likely self-fouled readily, by the looks of it.
EP2698312A1 search report: X, Y, Y, A.
EP2562084A1 search report: X, X, X, X, X.
I just looked and it doesn’t appear so. Looking at their reported financials, it looks like they are out of money and don’t really have any assets other than IP. The attorney listed as a contact regarding the offering is an IP attorney. Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t Shell recently invest a good chunk of change into their R&D?
This is the official KPS buyout page. It looks like the venture has stalled, and is desperately seeking an angel. It could be a real bargain to the right investor, either as a “fire-sale” liquidation, or to “retool” (pivot).
It can be presumed that KPS field trials did not validate their two-kite/one-anchor architecture, and that the revised concept shown in artist’s conception form never materialized. A more kite-pro culture might have succeeded better than KPS’s MD-turned-AWE-developer origin.
Shell has “shelled-out” AWE R&D funding widely, for a long time, starting with LadderMill about two decades ago, later including KPS, and most recently with Makani. What they overlooked by this diversified investment pattern is a serious comparative R&D fly-off of the venture silos.
The latest Shell investment news is a bit cloudy, given the claim of Makani “acquisition by Shell” as a “European Perspective” in this paper. It had been thought of as a Google-Shell PR partnership.
We were perhaps unduly influenced by the impression KPS was being sold off in pieces. This is no bankruptcy sale, although cash must be tight. Instead, what this all amounts to is an exit-plan for founding owner-investors.
KPS can likely move forward under new ownership. It may be a great bargain, if run well. This offering may signal the start of an M&A frensy in the AWE venture sphere. We may soon see a consolidated player emerge in the “energy drone” space.
My original assessment of this outfit seems somewhat confirmed.
Betting on a company in such a new field as awes to fail will make one right ~95% of the time.
[Edit: Yes, that number is plucked from thin air. Just wanted to say that one will be right almost all the time]
A 2017 video shows how KPS works.
The latest renderings were rigid wing with a rigid (anti) bridle. At AWEC they said that their wing would not be carbon fiber though.
Like the device shown on the technology page?
Those were the ones I was thinking about, yes
Hi Luke. Thanks for chiming in and responding. When I walk my dogs in the desert tumbleweed-tundra around here, I see rabbits, coyotes, etc, that they miss down at ground level. Try standing on a chair and maybe you’ll see what I see. From many years in wind energy, I’ve seen many many many failures, and ideas that just go nowhere, and from that slightly elevated vantage point, it’s easy to see wind companies in the typical process of failing.
To start with, it’s already more like a nearly 100% failure rate for any new company pretending to have any type of major wind energy breakthrough. As I’ve been explaining for 12 years, no matter how much hype they start with, eventually, “they quietly go away”.
After several years of seeing newbies-to-wind-energy forming companies around the same old new-to-them but long-disproven ideas (Darrieus, Savoius, ducted turbines, etc.), if they would just look it up, they would know better. But if you try to tell them they usually get real hostile and call you names. With the experience to tell which wind energy startup will be successful (exceedingly rare), it’s easier to identify these “trainwrecks-in-slow-motion”. They have a flavor, maybe a scent. No product, and not knowing what you’re doing, while the price of the established competition’s product keeps dropping, is not a promising situation.
Even for companies producing small wind turbines of the conventional type, almost every one has now failed. Their products self-destruct.
Part of the problem is not understanding the brutal and unforgiving nature of wind energy, from the weak vantage point of no experience, working from an office with comfortable chairs and a computer that tells you what you want to hear. The new feature of being airborne is just the sort of distraction that causes the companies and investors to further ignore reality and pretend just hiring lots of people and wasting money is the answer. “Wheeeee…!”
“This time it’s different!” they think, which is symptomatic of failures in progress.
They don’t seem to notice so many other companies are doing the same thing, and have been for maybe a decade, producing mostly group-selfies and promises they couldn’t live up to.