In the News

Flyability named as a top European drone company to watch

By DroneLife - Miriam McNabb

Swiss company Flyability offers Elios, a collision-tolerant drone. Instead of relying entirely on necessarily imperfect sense and avoid technology, they take an innovative approach: the drone is inside of a freely rotating cage.

The cage means that the inspection drone can be used in a new way – in new spaces. “The art of indoor inspection is not as advanced as outdoor inspection,” says Marc Gandillon, Flyability’s Marketing Manager. “You have no way to geo-localize your drone indoors.”

The drone’s industrial value is incredibly high for work like inspecting the inside of storage tanks or other dark, dangerous and inaccessible spaces. Where previous methods of inspection can involve weeks of dangerous and costly preparation and scaffolding just to see what might need attention, the Elios can be placed in a small and sightless space and flown around to make an assessment, impossible to do without a drone and equally impossible with a traditional quad. “You need a new flight paradigm – using your environment to find your way, rolling on the walls and ceiling,” says Gandillon. “The cage removes the fear from the process – you can enter any kind of space without being afraid of hitting anything.”

The company was founded by cousins Dr. Adrien Briod and Patrick Thévoz, who were inspired by the Fukushima disaster. The realization that there were no robots available to help deal with the problem drove them to create a solution – with Adrian writing his Ph.D. thesis on the subject. Since launching the Elios in 2016 the company has not only provided a valuable industrial tool but has donated the product to “Robotics Without Borders” for use in disaster response.

 

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