EPFL start-up Flybotix showcased its dual-propeller drone at Xponential the world’s largest tradeshow for unmanned and autonomous systems. Intended for inspecting hazardous locations, this flat-engined aircraft is quiet, saves flight time, and is also capable of flipping like a turtle if it finds itself upside down on the ground.This drone propellers were developed through a joint effort between Flybotix and a major company in EPFL’s Innovation Park. The new drone is expected on the market in 2021.
A dual-propeller propulsion system gives Flybotix’s drone unmatched flight time and very low noise levels. An initial prototype was unveiled in the summer of 2019. The finished product is fitted with a custom-designed ultra-flat motor developed in partnership with Maxon, a major company located in EPFL’s Innovation Park. The new drone is being presented today, online, at Xponential, the world’s largest trade show for unmanned and autonomous systems. Flybotix is planning a market launch in early 2021.
Twenty minutes’ flying time and flat motors
Currently, drones that are small enough to maneuver in tight spaces like ducts can stay airborne only for about ten minutes. To save energy and extend flight time, Flybotix’s drone has been fitted with a propulsion system that is similar to the one used on helicopters, which have unparalleled aerodynamic performance. Because the bulky mechanical stabilization system is replaced with algorithms, the flight time is twice as long.
Source: “New turtle-like drone can fly twice as long”, EPFL News