Drones are very delicate machinery. One wrong turn and a crash could end its flight career. Swiss company Flyablility have created a UAV that is protected by a rotating cage which prevents damages when colliding with obstacle. It’s called Gimbal.
Crashing into objects has become the secret to Gimbal’s success. On February 7th, the Swiss company is travelling home from Dubai $1 million richer after winning the “Drones for Good” international competition. Unlike other rescue robots, where colliding with obstacles could spell the end of an expedition, Gimbal is able to bounce back without losing its bearings or damaging its in-built camera.
Gimbal is described as the first “collision-tolerant drone,” utilizing a rotating spherical outer cage that means it can be used safely in close proximity with people. Designed to enter hostile environments such as burning buildings and radioactive sites. Gimbal maps its surrounding and con roll across ceilings and floors, navigating restricted areas, and transmit RGB and infrared images back to disaster relief services. The flying spheroid can cope with challenging environments without the need for fragile sensors. The rotating cage ensures it doesn’t lose its stability. The international competition focuses on how technology will radically reshape government and public services in the future. Flyability plans on using the prize money for funding to continue developing their lightweight product. The design was inspired by the sight of a fly bouncing against a window in an effort to escape.
The Flyability’s team leader, Patrick Thevoz said, “we struggled to find funding to develop our search and rescue drone but this UAE government summit initiative, drones for good, means we can commercially develop our project within a year, and with flyability able to go where it is dangerous for rescuers, help save lives.”