New Elios 3 inspection drone uses LiDAR to scan environment in 3D

The Swiss company Flyability has announced a new version of the Elios 3 inspection drone equipped with a sensor. Thanks to the addition of the laser scanner, the Elios 3 is suitable for indoor 3D mapping. Also new is FlyAware, a feature that helps the pilot guide the drone through tricky situations. The spherical roll cage has remained to protect the drone.

LiDAR and second payload for Elios 3 inspection drone

The Flyability Elios series of drones is characterized by a spherical construction that physically protects the drone from a collision with obstacles. The drone is equipped with an LED floodlight to illuminate the environment, and thanks to signal amplifiers, the live camera image remains stable even in challenging conditions. This makes the drone perfect for inspections of hard-to-reach areas such as pipelines, storage tanks, and even sewers. Rescuers use the drone for search & rescue missions.

The new Elios 3 inspection drone combines the advantages of its predecessors with an Ouster OS0-32-LiDAR. Thanks to this laser scanner, the drone is able to generate a 3D point cloud of the immediate vicinity in real-time. To this end, Flyability has entered into a partnership with software supplier GeoSLAM. Thanks to the addition of LiDAR, the drone is also even better able to keep a distance from walls and objects. It is even possible to add a second payload, depending on the intended application.

“The Elios 3 offers the world’s best stabilization, a modular payload, and the ability to create 3D models in flight in real-time, paving the way for an increasingly autonomous future,” said Patrick Thévoz, co-founder and CEO of Flyability. “For industrial inspections, the Elios 3 is an important factor in Industry 4.0 and offers a solution that can make inspections safer, more efficient, and cheaper than ever before.”

New Elios 3 Inspection Drone Uses Lidar To Scan Environment In 3D
The Elios 3 inspection drone is perfect for industrial installations.

FlyAware and Inspector 4.0

The Elios 3 is powered by Flyability’s new patented SLAM engine, FlyAware. It converts the LiDAR data from the drone in flight into 3D models. FlyAware also provides additional stability, combining data from the drone’s three optical cameras with the LiDAR sensor to compensate for the smallest of unexpected movements. This makes the Elios 3 easy to operate, and new pilots can be trained within a day.

Using Flyability’s new Inspector 4.0 software, reports can be created based on the data from the Elios 3 inspection drone. Inspectors can easily visualize points of interest found during an inspection in a 3D map view. This feature allows stakeholders to navigate from POI to POI in a digital representation of their assets. This is to support planning, monitoring, and maintenance efforts.

New Elios 3 Inspection Drone Uses Lidar To Scan Environment In 3D
Thanks to the addition of LiDAR, it is possible to visualize the environment in real-time in 3D.

Flight time of the Elios 3 inspection drone

The maximum flight time depends on the use of the LiDAR. With LiDAR enabled, it is a maximum of 9 minutes. Without LiDAR, the flight time is up to 12 minutes.

New Elios 3 Inspection Drone Uses Lidar To Scan Environment In 3D 1

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

Wiebe de Jager 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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