Animal Dynamics Ltd., based in Oxford, UK, is a technology company specialising in the design and manufacture of autonomous solutions – using a first principle engineering approach – that can replace the need for humans in dirty, dull and dangerous operations, including aerial resupply.
Animal Dynamics Ltd. was founded as an R&D company and has since transitioned to focus on its family of autonomous aerial Stork vehicles. The priority stands with the commercial rollout of Stork STM, an autonomous heavy-lift parafoil winged drone designed for delivering logistics and resupply within harsh environments.
Animal Dynamics Ltd. was co-founded in 2015 by Professor Adrian Thomas, Professor of Biomechanics at the University of Oxford’s Zoology department. Animal Dynamics was first formed as a spin-out from the University based in the Begbroke Science Park in Yarnton, primarily focusing on bio-inspired research and development projects funded by DSTL and DASA. The bio-inspired qualities of the products and their likeness to nature led the company to be named Animal Dynamics.
Animal Dynamics was co-founded in 2015 and formed as a spinout from the Zoology Department at Oxford University
Phase 1 of our project SKEETER began, involving initial designs and component testing.
First flight testing of SKEETER which focused on the inner-loop autopilot and flapping power-efficiency. Our office at this time was based in Begbroke Science Park in Yarnton, with under 10 employees.
A year of flights! The first outdoor flights of SKEETER in gusty conditions commenced, as well as the beginning of our STORK project as part of the DASA ALMRS project. We carried out first flights with our first STORK models: ST12, ST25 and ST50.
Our company now stood at 30 employees. STORK ST25 was developed further for JHUB and demonstrated flights at the Autonomous Warrior Exercise coordinated by DSTL at Salisbury Plain.
ST 50 & ST 25 demonstrated flights within the Capstone event, in Camp Grayling Michigan USA. A UK/USA collaboration demonstrating logistic delivery in a field environment as part of a USA JTAARS exercise. The start of STM’s development also began, with our P0 model.
This year was a year of many achievements. SKEETER successfully met all development goals, including endurance within 20knots of wind. RAYDRIVE was formed from a DASA autonomy challenging environments project and a detailed market assessment under COVID resulted in the company’s focus on STORK STM. We moved offices to the Oxford Business Park in Cowley.
Lockdown activity continued around detailed design work and a model based system engineering approach to agile design of complex high tech engineering systems, allowing us to implement a digital twin of our vehicles so we could rapidly respond to changing climates whilst maintaining full documentation of all engineering decisions.
Project STORK STM was in full swing, with design, build, integration and ground testing as well as extended flight testing of the X1 test mule. We expanded our workshop facilities and secured a new unit within Langford Locks in Kidlington, as well as a unit within the Battlelabs Innovation Park in Dorset. X1 entered the Royal Navy Heavy Lift Challenge and demonstrated the ability to lift significant payloads over a large radius.
The development of STORK STM continues. STM was successfully selected to go through to Phase 2 of the Royal Navy Heavy Lift Challenge where we successfully met all of the new vehicle capabilities outlined as part of this challenge.