Concept: Swiss startup Flyability has unveiled the world’s first collision-tolerant drone named the Elios 3, equipped with a LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensor for indoor 3D mapping. It can make inspections safer, efficient, and less expensive for Industry 4.0.

Nature of Disruption: Elios 3 incorporates Ouster OS0-32 LiDAR sensor, allowing inspectors to collect data for the production of survey-grade 3D models using software from UK-based technology company GeoSLAM. Flyability’s new proprietary SLAM (Simultaneous localization and mapping) engine FlyAware powers the Elios 3, enabling it to turn the drone’s LiDAR data into 3D models in real-time while in flight. FlyAware additionally improves the Elios 3’s stability by combining data from the drone’s three optical cameras and LiDAR sensor to detect even the smallest, unexpected movement and instructs the flight controller to correct it. Inspectors can now display Points of Interest discovered during an inspection in a high-resolution 3D map using Flyability’s software Inspector 4.0’s 3D Map Viewer. This feature offers a clear visual picture of the defects detected and aids planning, monitoring, and maintenance efforts. Its IP-44 (ingress protection) design makes it possible to inspect and map difficult surroundings without worrying about water splashes or dust.

Outlook: As industries around the world increase their usage of drones, they require technology that is simple to operate, works consistently, and is stable when working within extremely sensitive assets. The Elios 3 seeks to meet the demand for dependable inspection instruments among businesses. It allows professionals to create survey-grade point clouds of the most inaccessible regions in their workplace by combining confined space drone data and 3D geospatial software technology. Its patent-pending collision-resilient flight controller makes the drone ideal for use in the most demanding industrial environments. The startup claims Elios 3 can recover from turning upside-down without crashing, thanks to its distinctive cage and unique reversing motors. 

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