Tags: rescue | drone | flyability | crash | resistant

Rescue Drone by Flyability Takes $1M Prize With Crash-Resistant Design

By    |   Tuesday, 10 Feb 2015 08:29 AM

A rescue drone created by the Swiss company Flyability captured a $1 million prize from the Drones for Good international competition in Dubai over the weekend for its crash-resistant cage design.

Utilizing a rotating spherical cage, the Gimball drone is "collision-tolerant," allowing it to roll across ceilings and floors, navigate restricted areas, map its surroundings, transmit RGB, and then send infrared images back to disaster-relief services, creators told CNN.

Adrien Briod, Gimball's co-creator, told CNN that the inspiration for the project came from watching flying insects bounce off windows.



"We were wondering why insects were so capable of going inside any building — yet had limited senses such as eyesight," he said. "One capability that was completely overlooked was their ability to collide into surfaces. For insects this isn't a big deal — but it is for robots."

Gimball is a two-rotor drone, but the outer globe rotates independently from the rest of it, allowing it to bounce off walls, floors, and roofs, yet maintain its altitude, according to The Verge.

And, actually, bouncing into objects is one of Gimball's goals because a form of its navigation — rolling along walls and careening off of ceilings as it maps its surroundings.

Steve Dent, for Engadget.com said there is another practical reason for the cage as well if it's going to be used as a rescue drone.

"The cage also protects potential rescue victims from the spinning propellers while making it relatively stress-free to operate indoors," Dent wrote. "The team sees it as a simple to operate, inexpensive and robust tool for rescuers or industrial inspectors, useful in, say, a nuclear accident or building collapse."

Flyability beat out 39 other drone entries over the two-day Dubai event and the company hopes to make the device available for first responders and other emergency personnel to use within the year.

Organizers of the contest, which was started by the United Arab Emirates government in February 2014, told CNN they hope to improve the image of the drone as a tool of public good and a life-saving device rather than one of war.

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A rescue drone created by the Swiss company Flyability captured a $1 million prize from the Drones for Good international competition in Dubai over the weekend for its crash-resistant cage design.
rescue, drone, flyability, crash, resistant
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2015-29-10
Tuesday, 10 Feb 2015 08:29 AM
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