The work done in the scope of the ROBINS project has helped Flyability developing the stabilisation system as well as the distance lock feature of the Elios 2.
Elios 2 has a unique stabilisation system which allows the pilot to effortlessly hover near objects while performing inspections.
As GPS positioning is too unreliable indoors, Elios 2 uses several optical sensors placed around the drone. These scan the movement of nearby objects, allowing the drone to remain stable with respect to its surroundings. There are sensors units in seven locations on the drone. Three are integrated in the payload on the front, and one is placed on each motor arm. Each sensor unit contains a distance sensor and a motion sensor.
The distance sensors measure the distance to nearby objects or walls using pulses of infrared light.
The motion sensors measure the rate at which the drone moves with respect to its surroundings. They are basically small video cameras, and in a well lit environment these have no range limit. In a dark environment they rely on the drone’s on-board lighting. When in ASSIST mode, the drone uses the sensor data to hover in one place. Any pilot inputs directly control the speed of the drone.
The distance lock feature relies on a distance sensor integrated in the payload on the front. It measures the distance between and the object of scrutiny and uses this information to keep the drone at a set distance to this object of scrutiny. This features enhances the ease of use of the drone when looking at long and repetitive patterns.
More recently, Flyability took part in a mission in Munkebo to inspect a bulk carrier. Missions like this one is very helpful to learn about the industry and to compare drone inspections with manned inspections. Filed testing is key to the development of a product and all the opportunities brought by the ROBINS project led us to develop a very reliable product, fit for use in the maritime industry, with the advanced features mentioned above. And this is largely due to the partnership with RINA and Loyd’s Register, among others.