The consumer drone market continues to expand, with more and more innovation happening each day. Popular drone manufacturer Parrot invested heavily in a company called senseFly a few years back and we are now beginning to see some pretty cool products come out of the Switzerland-based company. The upcoming eXom drone from senseFly has a number of nifty features, including one that flies the drone to a location just by tapping on your iPad…
The eXom from senseFly is packed with sensors that communicate with each other so the drone “always knows” its distance from other objects. With five ultrasonic sensors and another five for vision, the eXom bets heavily on its ability to take in data and adjust accordingly. Unlike the AR Drone from Parrot, these sensors face all directions thus taking in more data along the way. This allows the drone to move without dependence on a user to guide it to a location. senseFly likens to the abilities of the eXom to the heightened sense of an owl, check out the video below:
Just as important as all the sensors is the TripleView camera that senseFly has designed. This image capturing system can record HD or thermal video, as well as high-resolution images. With a 270 degree vertical field of view, the eXom can see a pretty wide range at any time. This comes in handy when using the autonomous mode, which allows users to target an area on a map and fly the eXom there. The software, dubbed eMotion, will create a flight plan while acquiring the imagery during flight and land the drone upon completion. If this works as stated, it takes a lot of the guess work out of learning to fly a drone and makes arial imagery much easy for consumers.
It also has a “screen fly” mode within the app, which allows users to tap on the display directing the eXom to fly close to the object. This again is a huge feature for consumers, allowing them to get close while having the sensors within the eXom hold the drone at the right spot while gathering imagery. If these features work as they are described, coupled with a carbon fiber design, drone flying just got a lot easier for consumers.
Pricing and availability have yet to be announced for the eXom from senseFly. Looking for something a little cheaper? Check out these smaller drones from Amazon.
Meet eXom – the sensor-rich drone that lets professionals focus on their work, not on flying
International CES, Las Vegas, January 6, 2015 – Swiss drone maker senseFly today premiers its forthcoming eXom drone, a uniquely sensor-rich UAS for professional users.
Developed with input from experts working in all fields of robotics, the eXom is a light, safe and highly intelligent quadcopter, a fully automated system that offers professionals such as civil engineers and surveyors the situational awareness they require to perform inspections and close mapping projects safely and accurately.
eXom features a plethora of integrated sensors. Its five vision sensors allow the operator to see in the direction the drone is moving – automatically and without needing to turn the system’s main camera head. This technology, unique in such a light-weight UAS, is similar to the visual parking displays in modern cars, only brought into a 3D flight environment. In order to enhance its close-operation capabilities, eXom also features five ultrasonic proximity sensors. These work in harmony with its visual sensors to ensure the operator always knows the drone’s distance from nearby objects. Plus, the drone’s shock-absorbent carbon fiber shrouding is also on hand to protect eXom’s rotors in case of surface contact.
In another first for a civil drone system, the eXom’s autopilot-controlled TripleViewhead allows a user to view and record any type of imagery they require – HD video, ultra high-resolution stills, thermal data, or all of the above. All without needing to land in order to swap cameras.
Since its camera head faces the front, eXom can fly up close to target structures for sub-millimetre data resolution. The design of eXom’s airframe and its head’s 270° vertical field of view also mean eXom can document objects directly above it; crucial for challenging tasks such as inspecting under bridges.
eXom’s unparalleled level of sensory intelligence means it can be easily controlled, even in the most demanding situations (e.g. approaching a high object located hundreds of metres away) – without the need for a remote control or piloting skills.
Simply choose eXom’s flight mode:
- Interactive ScreenFly mode – click or tap the on-screen video feed to define an object of interest. eXom’s intelligent autopilot moves the drone into position and directs its TripleView head automatically.
- Autonomous mode – define the area to map using the drone’s eMotion software. The software automatically generates the drone’s flight plan, then eXom takes off, flies, acquires imagery and lands itself (similar to senseFly’s fixed-wing eBeedrones).
With so many unique features built into one safe, robust platform, senseFly is pioneering innovation in the civil drone field. “We designed eXom to be unlike any other rotary drone system,” said Jean-Christophe Zufferey, CEO and co-founder of senseFly. “We created an integrated imaging platform, rather than simply a remote-controlled aircraft with cameras attached. And because this platform’s sensors provide such full environmental awareness, our professional customers can focus on their work, not on flying.”
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