Flyability, the Switzerland-based maker of the popular Elios range of drones for indoor and confined-space inspections, is ready with its next offering: Elios 3. It’s the world’s first collision-tolerant drone equipped with a LiDAR sensor for indoor 3D mapping.
Elios 3 is powered by Flyability’s new proprietary simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) engine called FlyAware. A combination of computer vision, LiDAR technology, and NVidia graphic engine, FlyAware acts as a centimeter-accurate indoor GPS for the drone, building real-time 3D maps and enabling the aircraft to sense its surroundings accurately.
Flyability says its plan is to make complex confined-space inspections completely autonomous in the future using FlyAware. But for now, the company is introducing the new Inspector 4.0 software which can be used to visualize Points of Interest found during an inspection in a high-resolution 3D map. Meanwhile, these survey-grade 3D models are being made possible using software from Flyability’s new partner, GeoSLAM.
It’s also worth highlighting that in addition to carrying a LiDAR sensor, Elios 3 can accommodate a secondary customizable payload. This versatility has prompted Adrien Briod, CTO of Flyability, to call the new drone “the single biggest project” the company has ever undertaken. Here’s Briod:
If you think of the Elios 2 as your classic flip phone, only designed to make phone calls, the Elios 3 is the smartphone. It’s made to be customized for the specific demands of each user, letting you attach the payload you need so you can use the tool as you like, and allowing it to grow and improve over time with new payloads or software solutions.
Flyability stresses it has been working on the Elios 3 for four years. In that time, engineers have spent thousands of hours on research and development and performed over 200 missions in the field to collect feedback, learn what clients want, and refine the technology in order to make “the most reliable indoor drone” on the market.
As Patrick Thévoz, cofounder and CEO of Flyability, sums up:
For industrial inspections, the Elios 3 is a key enabler of Industry 4.0, presenting an inspection solution that can make inspections safer, more efficient, and less expensive than ever before.