Canada's first autonomous airplane and R&D platform by Dr. Jeremy Wang, Co-Founder & COO at Ribbit

Monday, March 11, 2024
Dr. Jeremy Wang of Ribbit, a Canadian aerospace startup, will report on their R&D progress towards offering commercial autonomous flight operations.
In person participation in the seminar is encouraged, as Dr. Wang will be presenting in person. Remote participation is possible via the provided zoom link.
Title: Ribbit — Canada's first autonomous airplane and R&D platform
When: March 11, 2024, 11am-12pm
Where: University of Waterloo Campus, E7 7303 & 7363
(Remote participation: Zoom)


What does it take to make an airplane fly itself? For decades, we have had in-flight autopilots, TCAS, and autoland for ILS-equipped aircraft and airports. But in the last few years, Canadian company Ribbit has accumulated over 200 hours of hands-free gate-to-gate flights aboard a two-seater airplane demonstrator modified for autonomy. In this talk, we will catch a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the 14-month process that Ribbit pursued to modify an off-the-shelf fixed-wing aircraft for Level 3/4 autonomous flight. Beginning with the societal and commercial motives for autonomy, we will quickly dive into the operational requirements, resultant technical decisions and systems architecture, flight test program, and pervasive safety and regulatory considerations that culminated in the first hands-free gate-to-gate flight of an airplane in Canada. Most recently, Ribbit acquired a six-seat airplane that will be used for both R&D and commercial air cargo starting later in 2024. Ribbit is open to collaborating with researchers on topics related to autonomy, sustainability, or operations research, and recruits interns and full-time staff with engineering or CS backgrounds. This talk is ideally suited to senior undergraduate and graduate students, researchers, practising engineers, and test pilots with interest or experience in highly automated fixed-wing RPAS.


Dr. Jeremy Wang is a Canadian aerospace engineer with 8 years of experience in aerial robotics and RPAS automation. From 2016 to 2019, Jeremy served as CTO of one of Canada's leading drone operators, where he started and grew a self-sustaining engineering division developing special-purpose and long-range drones for industrial and defence clients. In 2020, Jeremy co-founded Ribbit with Carl Pigeon—Ribbit is a cargo airline startup that builds self-flying airplanes and equips organizations with pilotless fleets to improve service levels and serve new markets. The company has signed LOIs with 6 leading retailers and wholesalers worth $42M/yr in future revenue, received an SFOC for remotely piloted flight tests, and recently won a $1.3M testing contract with the federal government. Jeremy holds a BASc in Engineering Science from the University of Toronto, PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Waterloo, and an appointment as an adjunct assistant professor in SYDE.