Aerial tech group Red Cat Holdings has announced its Teal Drones unit is introducing a product allowing a single pilot to operate four UAVs simultaneously, offering swarm performance and effectiveness to defense and enterprise users alike.
Red Cat, which added Teal to its stable of aerial software and craft companies last year, claims the four UAV platform will be the first of its kind to go to market. In defense and security scenarios, the product will permit users to deploy a swarm quartet of Teal Golden Eagle drones to encircle target sites to obtain full wraparound situational views, or offer the outward-looking 360-degree perspective of areas being protected from intrusion or attack. All four feeds from the craft are displayed on the screen of a single remote controller.
Teal’s mini-swarm drone system – which is on pre-order for shipping in autumn – will be sold in a standard 4-Ship and an extended configuration. That latter 4-Ship+ offer adds two extra Golden Eagle drones and a supplementary controller to the mix, allowing easier hand-off between operators and permitting craft with fully charged batteries to replace those beginning to fade.
That capability, Red Cat says, enables unbroken mini-swarm missions – though if having four drones in the air at all times is the objective, presumably batteries of all four initial UAVs will be swapped about the same time. Either way, the solution does promise aerial monitoring of terrain by multiple drones flown by a single pilot, which – in automated enterprise missions like mapping and surveying – could reduce cost and time to 25% of those involving a single vehicle.
“4-Ship represents truly disruptive technology that will alter the approach to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance,” said Red Cat CEO Jeff Thompson. “No longer are drone applications limited to a one-pilot/one-drone situation, drastically altering the potential missions for drones due to the ability of a single pilot to be able to control a team of drones. The 4-Ship already provides significant flexibility in applications, from security to agriculture to law enforcement, as well as the expected military applications, for which there is expressed interest.”
Teal’s Golden Eagle drone is among the handful of UAVs on the Blue sUAS list meeting Department of Defense requirements for use. The company has been retained in small craft military development programs, and earlier this year joined other US aerial tech firms providing secure and effective drones to the Ukraine’s defense against Russia’s invasion.
Teal founder and CEO George Matus believes Teal Drones’ new mini-swarm product can deliver some of the same game-changing performance to all of the platform’s users.
“4-Ship is unlocking our vision for the future of drones,” said Matus. “This early technological inflection point will redefine how drones are used across the defense and public safety markets, arguably increasing value by an order of magnitude.”