Another unique drone design has caught our attention. The Voliro drone, for reasons you’re about to see, can do things that others simply can’t.
Most drones, when you think about it, are really flying cameras. The camera is the sensor, gathering visual data. And, for a lot of professional work, a camera is fine. But some industrial work requires different kinds of sensors, even beyond such specialized units as thermal or LiDAR. In fact, some sensors – such as those measuring thickness of welds – require that the sensor be held, with appropriate pressure, against the object(s) in question. But how are you going to do that with an aerial drone?
Meet the Voliro T
Swiss company Voliro Airborne Robotics builds this robot, called the Voliro T. It’s an unusual tricopter-style design (with a “T” motor configuration), incorporating twin opposed motors on each of the forward arms for a total of five motors. But it’s how the company designed this machine that’s important. Here’s how it describes the product:
The Voliro T can be equipped with a variety of Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) sensors, depending on the use-case. The payload sensor possibilities are limitless. The Voliro T is capable of Ultrasonic Testing (UT) for thickness measurement, Dry-Film Thickness (DFT) measurement, Pulsed-Eddy Current (PEC) for mapping corrosion under insulation and much more. Thanks to the integration of various assistive technologies and safety-systems, the Voliro T is safe and easy to fly in close proximity to structures. The unique 360o drone design of the platform allows inspection of curved and sloped surfaces. No other flying inspection robot boasts these capabilities. (Patents pending.)
Great. But how does it work?
Sometimes, a picture is truly worth a thousand words. And a video? Even more:
It can even spray paint while flying
Yes. Yes, it can:
Variation on a theme
Voliro isn’t the only company to have thought about the need for this kind of inspection device. Not long ago we wrote about Canadian firm Skyguage, which uses a different design to achieve similar ends.
Both designs are quite clever from our perspective, and will be useful for a wide variety of inspection jobs.
Voliro offers its unit on a subscription basis; keeping the robot updated and with the latest sensors best-suited to their customer’s needs. In other words, you can’t buy it.