Aerix Systems

To bring its omnidirectional unmanned aircraft system (UAS) to market, Aerix takes advantage of the Reinvent the Sky industry solution experience through the Startups program. The 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud helps the company master complex system design and rapidly develop all prototypes before creating a production-ready UAS.

Omnidirectional drone combines high speed and maneuvrability

When Aerix Systems’ omnidirectional propulsion drone takes to the skies, it promises to deliver a new level of flight control and pinpoint accuracy. The gyroscope-based unmanned aircraft system (UAS) possesses special flight characteristics that give it the ability to take off and land in any orientation and fly at all angles so that it can deftly navigate the most challenging terrains.

Whatever the environment, Aerix Systems’ drone will be capable of handling all kinds of civil and military response missions: swooping and gliding between turbines to check for cracks, corrosion and peeling paint on a remote offshore wind farm; maneuvering around towers and blades with precision to survey their condition; and accurately observing and measuring boat hulls, airplane wings and buildings, regardless of air currents, high winds and choppy waters.

“Inspired by a gyroscope, we’re developing a new type of drone propulsion that delivers significantly improved flight capabilities,” said Clément Picaud, co-founder and CEO of Aerix Systems. “Able to travel at high speeds with great mobility, it will be ideal for complex environments and missions.”

Over the last three years, Picaud, his fellow co-founder and president Hugo Mayounove, and their team have been working to turn their idea into a reality. Today, they have a technological prototype, which proves their gyroscope-based propulsion concept works, and are now in the process of developing the drone that they will launch to market. All product development is handled in the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud.

“Developing a product of this complexity means we face a lot of challenges bringing together different systems, including mechanical, electronic, system control and sensors,” Picaud said. “We have a lot of disciplines that we must master and integrate. The 3DEXPERIENCE platform has been instrumental for designing our first prototype. Now, we’re looking to simulate and manufacture our first drone, ready to launch to market. And the platform will help us to meet these key milestones as fast as possible.”

Developing a product of this complexity means we face a lot of challenges bringing together different systems, including mechanical, electronic, system control and sensors. The 3DEXPERIENCE platform has been instrumental for designing our first prototype. Now, we’re looking to simulate and manufacture our first drone, ready to launch to market. And the platform will help us to meet these key milestones as fast as possible.

Aerix Systems Clément Picaud portrait > Dassault Systemes
Clément Picaud
Co-founder and CEO, Aerix Systems

Boosting startups with full access to platform

Both Picaud and Mayounove had previously used CATIA for mechanical design as students and were keen to use it to develop their omnidirectional UAS. After hearing about the 3DEXPERIENCE for Startups program, they seized the chance to implement the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud at Aerix Systems to manage all aspects of the product development cycle.

“It was a great opportunity for us to access the solution,” Mayounove said. “Because we were already familiar with CATIA, we were convinced of the platform’s value. We knew its collaborative design capabilities would help us to connect our processes and support us to design, test and manufacture our drone as quickly as possible.”

As a startup, Aerix Systems benefits from the platform’s out-of-the-box functionality and secure cloud access, which has saved it from investing in the infrastructure and servers typically associated with an on-premise installation. The cloud’s scalability will become invaluable as the company grows and requires new capabilities.

“We are a young company, and we didn’t have all the systems and security in place,” Mayounove said. “3DEXPERIENCE on the cloud was an ideal solution for storing and safeguarding our confidential data. We simply need a computer or laptop and all the infrastructure is there, supporting us to be agile and efficient.”

Guiding Aerix Systems every step of the way is XD Innovation. The technology partner supports the company to select the licenses and modules that work best for its specific needs and delivers ongoing training to ensure every employee gets the most from the solution.

“We’ve worked with XD Innovation since the beginning and they’re a really valuable partner to us,” Picaud said. “When we want to use a new feature in the platform, they show us which modules to choose and why, and provide all the support we need with upgrades. And when a new member joins our team, they get them up and running quickly with tailored training.”

Aerix Systems omnidirectional drone designed on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud.

Comprehensive design solution

For a company keen to establish itself within the aerospace industry, it was important for Aerix Systems to use the same solutions as its peers – both for collaborating with partners and having access to the best and most comprehensive design capabilities.

“CATIA is the industry standard because it offers the easiest and most efficient way to design big and complex systems and surfaces,” Picaud said. “Our partners and suppliers also use it, and we want to be able to work with them seamlessly.”

Aerix Systems uses CATIA on 3DEXPERIENCE to design all aspects of its UAS, covering mechanical and electrical design.

“For our propulsion system, some parts are very constrained,” Mayounove said. “With CATIA, we can do topology optimization and efficiently design multiple iterations to maximize performance and decrease the overall weight. Within a given 3D space, we can create the right material layout, taking into account loads, boundary conditions and constraints.”

Omnidirectional unmanned aircraft concept by Aerix Systems

Transparent and centralized data management

Working within the 3DEXPERIENCE platform is a real step up for Aerix Systems compared to the days of manually saving and exchanging data. With all data stored within a centralized environment, everyone can access the 3D models and related information they need.

“During our studies, we saved and exchanged all data and files on memory sticks, which was not only time consuming but risked us losing or overwriting our work,” Mayounove said. “Today, we don’t have that worry. We can review changes easily, modify different parts and maintain full traceability at every stage of the product development lifecycle. Whether we have someone working on propulsion, the chassis or the frame, we can orchestrate all those disciplines.”

Now, as Aerix Systems moves to the next stage of the product development cycle, it’s confident it has the tools and support in place to successfully launch – and fly – its UAS. The company also has exciting plans in the works to widen its offering and bring omnidirectional propulsion to more use cases.

“The 3DEXPERIENCE platform helps us to be more resilient as we begin testing and manufacturing,” Picaud said. “If we encounter any issues, we know we can make design changes easily. And while, for now, we’re developing one product, we intend to scale up our offering. The 3DEXPERIENCE platform will allow us to make changes to our design parameters and bring out multiple configurations. As a startup, it’s important for us to have partners like XD Innovation and Dassault Systèmes, backed by a powerful solution that supports us to bring our innovative technology to market.”

Aerix Systems logo

Focus on Aerix Systems

France-based Aerix Systems is developing a new gyroscope-based omnidirectional propulsion system that boosts drone performance, allowing it to take off, land and fly at any orientation. Founded in 2020, the company is part of the Generate by Gicat incubator, Starburst’s BLAST accelerator and a GIFAS StartAir member.


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Focus on XDI Europe

XDI Europe is a Dassault Systèmes solution partner, which strives to help its customers innovate more efficiently by supplying best-in-class technologies powered by the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. The company provides software, consulting and value-added services to create product development technologies, equip 3D design, engineering, modeling, simulation, data management, process management, and quality and compliance.