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SenseFly Launches Intelligent Mapping and Inspection Drone

May 5, 2015  - By

Photo: SenseFly

Swiss professional drone maker senseFly has launched the eXom, its new quadcopter UAS for mapping and inspection. The eXom is available to pre-order immediately and ships this summer.

SenseFly made the announcement at the AUVSI Unmanned Systems 2015 show being held May 4-7 in Atlanta, Ga. (Hall B2, Booth 519).

The eXom is a sensor-rich system, sensefly said. Developed by experts working across numerous fields of robotics, this lightweight quadcopter offers professionals such as civil engineers and land surveyors the situational awareness, imaging flexibility and durability they need to complete challenging tasks safely, accurately and efficiently.

“We believe the eXom’s level of application-focused technology is unique in the civilian drone market,” said Antoine Beyeler, CTO and co-founder of senseFly. “This platform tightly integrates several one-of-a-kind features, such as TripleView imaging, advanced situational awareness and full flight mode flexibility — to provide inspection and mapping professionals with the functionality they desire from a rotary system.”

eXom is a future-ready platform with a quad-core computer onboard, senseFly said. Like senseFly’s fixed-wing drones, it offers users evolving performance through regular software updates, adding the latest drone tech innovations to keep the eXom at the cutting edge for years to come, the company said.

eXom’s low take-off weight of 1.7 kg (3.7 lb) ensures its users will, in many countries, have less flight authorization paperwork to deal with than those who use heavier systems.

The eXom’s advanced integrated sensors work together to provide the user with full situational awareness and support obstacle avoidance:

  • Five navcam vision sensors allow the operator to see in the direction the drone is moving, automatically via its flight control software, without needing to turn the system’s TripleView camera head. This technology is similar to the visual parking sensors in modern cars, but brought into a 3D flight environment.
  • Five ultrasonic proximity sensors work in harmony with eXom’s navcams to ensure the operator always knows the drone’s distance from nearby objects. (The drone’s shock-absorbent carbon fibre shrouding is also always on hand to protect its rotors in case of surface contact.)
  • Numerous other sensors, including inertial measurement units, barometers, magnetometers, GPS and magnetic encoders, maximize the drone’s stability and safety.

eXom’s autopilot-controlled TripleView camera head enables the user to view and record three different types of imagery during a single flight without needing to land to change cameras:

  • HD video
  • Ultra high-resolution stills
  • Thermal still/video

Because the TripleView head faces forwards, eXom can fly up close to target structures such as building walls and dams to achieve sub-millimeter data resolutions. Plus, with the head’s 270-degree vertical field of view, users can document objects positioned directly above and below the drone — crucial for tasks such as bridge and roof inspections.

eXom offers various flight modes:

  • Autonomous mode — for mapping projects. First, create a flight plan using eMotion X’s mission blocks. eXom then launches, flies, acquires geo-referenced imagery and lands itself.
  • Interactive ScreenFly mode — this streaming video mode is for live inspection tasks. Use the supplied joypad to navigate and orient the drone via computer screen. This mode includes flight assistance features such as cruise control and distance lock.
  • Create a flight plan, launch in autonomous mode, then go live on demand.
  • No matter which mode is activated, RC-based manual control always remains available as a backup function and for experienced pilots.

Full technical specifications can be downloaded on this PDF.

Visit senseFly at Unmanned Systems 2015: Hall B2, Booth 519. The eXom will be demonstrated in flight at the senseFly booth at at the show’s Air & Ground Demo Area (demo timings: May 6, 12:15 and 14:15, May 7, 11:45 and 14:15).

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