Flyability Introduces the Range Extender
[May 9th, 2017] AUVSI’s Xponential, Dallas – Flyability SA introduces the Range Extender, an accessory for the collision-tolerant indoor drone Elios. The Range extender opens new applications for the most demanding indoor drone inspection and exploration missions, where communication between the drone and the pilot is particularly difficult.
In environments such as underground galleries, stacks or mines, signal propagation can be limited by the geometry of the place to inspect and remotely operating a robot becomes difficult. By placing the remote control antennas to a better location, closer to the drone, it is possible to extend the range of the drone. To that end, Flyability has developed the Range Extender: an accessory that connects to Elios ground station, providing an extended signal reach for beyond line-of-sight operation.
“Since we released Elios, a year ago, we performed many field trials and could experience multiple use cases where having an extended reach is not only beneficial for the safety of the operator but sometimes provides access beyond what was previously accessible, enabling new use cases”, says Flyability CTO, Dr. Adrien Briod. “One of the first experience we had was related to the inspection of sewers. This environment made of rocks and concrete is definitely hard on signal propagation and with the Range Extender our customers can safely stand on the ground while operating the drone, underground, 20 meters below.”
Other use cases involving the inspection of closed areas presenting a high risk of hazards, like a boiler with aggregates threatening to detach from the superheater or a degraded stack with fragments falling from the walls, highly benefit from the use of a Range Extender. By deploying it through the manhole giving access to the place to inspect, the pilot can safely stay outside of the hazardous zone and operate Elios with peace of mind as the drone will always fly within reach of the signal.
“From the experience we’ve had with our customers in the field, we learned a lot on the conditions in which the drone is operated, and the difficulties it sometimes represents to reach the place from where the drone will be deployed”, says Flyability Product Manager Arnaud Janvier. “With that in mind, we’ve designed the Range Extender carrying case – which houses all the elements needed for a mission – to be easily worn over the shoulder to cover the last mile that brings you to the site of inspection.”
The Range Extender is composed of an omnidirectional antenna module, 20 meters of cable and an integrated reel to ease deployment and packing. On the spot, the operator just connects the ground control station to the Range Extender, plugs a battery in and is ready to fly. Once packed, the Range Extender carrying case fits into the main transport case along with Elios allowing for a travel-friendly packaging.
An early prototype version of the Range Extender is available for purchase now in a limited number of units. A production version will be available for sales later this year. If you want to know more about the Range Extender, Elios or arrange a demo, please contact Flyability sales team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Flyability is a Swiss company building safe drones for inaccessible places. By allowing drones to be used safely inside cities, buildings, and in contact with people, it enables new interactions and services with UAVs and solves the two most critical issues of one of the fastest growing industries: collision and injury risks. The company’s main market is in industrial inspection where it avoids sending people in dangerous and confined spaces for the inspection of Power Generation, Oil & Gas or Maritime infrastructures. It is also active in Search & Rescue and Security to assess emergency situations without putting humans at risk. Flyability is the winner of the 1M USD Drones for Good Award and over 11 other technology and business prizes. Read more on www.flyability.com.