Whats the latest and greatest new technology for UAVs being developed right now? I've been using UAVs for aerial videography for the past 2 years. It seems like the industry is constantly innovating, so much so that's it hard to keep track of. I wanted to start a thread where developers, manufactures and UAV enthusiast could post about new projects their working on or cool new tech they've seen. I know there's a lot going on in the way of sense and avoid tech, Lithium Carbon batteries, mini drones and 3D mapping seems to be getting easier. Please share things you find cool.
We're in early production or are developing the following systems:
1. 150 ft laser altimeter for auto take off, landing and terrain following.
2. 400 ft laser altimeter for FAA altitude limiting or terrain following close to FAA limits.
3. Scanning laser for "corridor" navigation between buildings (2D SLAM).
4. Static laser array for mast/wire detection and blade strike avoidance during low level maneuvering of 'copters.
I am working on a blog post with an info-graphic detailing what I view as the ideal quadcopter of the future. I think the analogy of the PC applies here, we need to see more industry standards, mounting standards, connector standards, protocal language, etc... I am very interested to know what 3DR is working on as of late, as well as DroneDeploy. DJI has made some great 'innovations' such as the multirotor parachute, the HD video downlink among others. Very exciting stuff on the horizon!
Lithium Carbon batteries are a new battery technology that has yet to be mass produced. There are two companies in Japan that are planning to mass produce them soon, though their initial application will be for things like medical devices. I would guess that they're going to be expensive.
Lithium carbon technology offers higher energy density but most importantly can charge 20x faster than current Li Ion batteries. I am experimenting with Lithium Ion batteries at the moment. Their low discharge rate makes them unsuitable for multi copters, but very useful for airplanes.
Here's an article about lithium carbon, aka 'dual carbon' batteries. Lithium Carbon Batteries
That sounds like some awesome technology! Sense and avoid is the biggest obstacle to overcome for fully autonomous flight and NAS integration. It seems like you guys are making some big strides. Keep me posted on it's development I''ll help spread the word.
Standaradazation.. Now that's a big idea. I wonder what the industry will adapt and for what reasons. Perhaps FAA will have something to say on the matter.
Oculus Rift Headtracking Demo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arvLm4DnMg8
What size are these units? (what platforms?)
The 400 ft static laser altimeter is 50mm x 50mm x 30mm and will work with both fixed-wing and multi-copter platforms. It is a variation on our SF10 model with additional signal processing.
We've got several designs for the scanning lasers that are not much bigger. The image shows the 'copter version whilst the fixed wing version is more aerodynamic.
Drop us a note when you are ready to promote it. firstname.lastname@example.org in the meantime if you have a company set up feel free to put in our director www.uascareercentral.com (go to companies and add company).
We are in contact with many custom builders and industrial inspection firms (mine sites etc) so it would be good to have a side chat.
The static laser array is interesting. Can you talk a bit more about that? I have a feeling that laser arrays are going to be very useful when they get small enough.