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Acecore Technologies' new Zoe Zetona has front-facing camera

Acecore Technologies’ new Zoe Zetona has front-facing camera

Dutch developer of high-end drones Acecore Technologies has launched a new drone, based on the existing Acecore Zoe platform. The Zoe Zetona is distinguished by the location of the camera suspension, namely on the front of the device. As a result, the camera can be rotated 90º downwards and 90 upwards, for example for inspection work.

Acecore Technologies’ new Zoe Zetona has front-facing camera

Specially developed gimbal

According to Acecore, the Zoe Zetona is optimized for use with a small number of high-end cameras, such as the 60-megapixel Sony A7r IV. For stabilization, a Gremsy two-axis gimbal specially developed for this purpose was chosen, which can dampen all vibrations. The unique gimbal design allowed the camera to be mounted on the front of the drone, rather than on the bottom. This allows the camera to be aimed both downwards and upwards.

In addition, thanks to the use of new coaxial motors, the Zoe Zetona offers the option of upgrading to a fully redundant drive, instead of the standard quadrotor configuration. This additional hardware also fits into the standard housing, so that the system can still be easily transported and ready for use.

Control over yaw-as

“One of the biggest technical challenges we faced was giving the secondary camera operator control over the drone’s yaw axis to adjust the live camera view while inspecting an asset. Nevertheless, we have ensured that the pilot maintains full control of the drone’s movements to ensure a safe operation,” said Jorrit Linders, founder and CEO of Acecore.

Like the original Acecore Zoe, the Zoe Zetona is weatherproof and can be used in high winds, for example for offshore inspections. According to Linders, as a result of the new camera mounting, many parts had to be relocated to ensure the stability of the system.

Availability

The new system is available immediately. Initially, the system can only be ordered with a fully integrated Sony A7r IV camera. More payload options will be added later.

Alternatives

The Zoe Zetona is not the only inspection drone that offers the possibility to have a camera lookup. Several drones from DJI’s Matrice series – including the M300 RTK, with optional Upward Gimbal Connector – offer the option of mounting a gimbal on the top of the drone. In addition, there is the now somewhat outdated Intel Falcon 8, which, like the Zoe Zetona, has the gimbal on the front and can therefore rotate the camera 180º up and down. Finally, the lightweight Parrot Anafi also offers a camera that can rotate up and down, but in terms of performance it cannot be compared with that of the more professional systems.

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This article first appeared on Dronewatch and is written by Wiebe de Jager who is also a DroneXL contributor.

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Wiebe de Jager

Wiebe de Jager (@wdejager) is the founder of Dronewatch and author of several bestselling books about drone photography. Wiebe is a certified drone pilot and has a full ROC license.

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