Gimball drone. Photo Credit: interestingengineering.com
With all the talk about drones lately, especially Amazon’s drone, I thought this would be cool to mention. Today, I want to introduce you to Gimball! The collision tolerant drone!
There is always a learning curve when first piloting a drone. You may not be as good as you think when you keep knocking into things. The last thing you really want is to watch your drone engage in a mid-air collision, but for Gimball it is it’s main selling point. Described as the first “collision tolerant drone” it won $1 million at the Drones for Good international competition held in Dubai.
It was created by Swiss company Flyability and it utilizes a rotating spherical outer cage that means it can be used safely in close proximity with people. Designed to enter hostile environments such as burning buildings and radioactive sites, Gimball maps its surroundings and can roll across ceilings and floors, navigate restricted areas, and transmit RGB and infrared images back to disaster relief services. Surrounding the multi-axis gimbal system with its built-in camera is a carbon fiber outer cage that absorbs the shock of any collisions and the gimbal system means that the cage can roll about independently of the camera.
Check out the video below!
CyPhy Work’s Pocket Flyer drone. Photo Credit: Discovery.com
A company called CyPhy Works has discovered a way to make UAVs that have “unlimited” run time! How is this possible you might ask?? Well it’s rather elementary.
If you think about it, all your household appliances use the same cutting-edge technology. A power cord. Or in this case, a microfilament that provides energy, direct communication, high definition video, and receives data from sensors quickly and reliably. But you might think that having this “tether” is a huge drawback as the microfilament could get snagged and that would be the end of the UAV. This problem has been carefully considered. The UAV actually dispenses the spool of microfilament as it moves so it will never be in tension to hold it down. And if worst comes to worst, if someone decides to cut the microfilament, the UAV can simply return to its point of origin on battery power.
Pocket Flyer’s microfilament tether. Photo Credit: spectrum.ieee.org
Helen Grainer, founder of CyPhy Works, says that this is a solution that solves the problem that most UV’s have and that is loss of communication when employed for duty. UVs go into bunkers, inside a building, around a corner. All lose communication and by the time communication is restored it’s already too late. Too late to recover the UV itself or any information it might have stumbled upon. The latest of CyPhy Works’ projects is the Pocket Flyer UAV that has a battery life of 2 hours or longer, with a microfilament cable that can spool up to 76 yards, and has replaceable spools for the drone to use after completion of each mission. The point of having a UAV so small is so soldiers always have a drone on their person no matter the situation and it can be run using an OS on a smart phone or other similar devices. These UVs are ready for production to get them into the hands of soldiers who need them the most. Here’s the incredible video of the prototype, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMdCnRg81qE