Price of industrial drones

I have been getting qoutes for a drone to add to our inspection business. So far I have quotes from Aibotix, Ascending Technologies, Aeryon and Altus. We currently use a Draganflyer X4. These professional drones have a massive price tag attached to them and I am wondering how they can be so expensive compared to a cinematoghraphy drone thats carrying a red epic camera around a movie set. What makes them so expensive? Whats in there that can add up to 65K. If you ask the manufacturers you get the same answer. There industrial grade, there not mass produced in china, there safer more reliable. yada yada what separates a 65k dollar drone from a drone that can be built with the best motors and best ESC's on a solid platform. Is it the flight controller? Is the flight controller in a falcon x8 or an Altus what separates these drones from the rest? I was wondering if someone could shed some light on this for me. 

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  • These Spanish guys are doing very interesting things at a very reasonable price: droning

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    • Hi there.

      We believe in simplicity and transportability.
      Up to now we only see big airframes that are both difficult and expensive to operate and transport.

      We are working in a 1 hour drone which will fit in a dji inspire transport case.

      Stay tuned!!
      • May I add one more. For facilty inspection/survey, big airframe is a big no-no. 

    • Very interesting indeed. The "RTK ready" mention alone is enticing, "available beginning 2016" ...

  • The cost of industrial UAV is mostly labor cost and mark up.

  • Dear, I'm representing a company specialized in industry grade RPAS and short answer is NO, there is no reason for a multicopter to be as expensive as 60K. The fact is nobody (unless corrupted or dumbass) will pay this for a multicopter, no matter how high quality its components are.

    Take a look at our product, recorded in mid fligth during its earlier testing stages.

    [A.R.M.] Aerial Robotic Manipulator

    Now compare it to those "flying cameras" LOL out there claiming to be industry grade drones.

    Just FYI, the only industry interested in taking pics is, maybe, topography. Even for agricultural purposes we have low orbit satellites serving multiespectral images daily with a reasonable good resolution and price.

  • Just for the fc:

    1. Sophisticated control algorithms other than simple PID, e.g. some adaptable controller.

    2. Expensive high end MEMS sensors,compared to those cheap gyros used in cellphones. And very likely those expensive sensors are well calibrated. The calibration is a time consuming process which adds the costs.

    3. For industrial drones, numerous of tests are required to find defects in software or hardware to make it reliable. So again, time and manpower adds up costs.

    • There is nothing wrong using "cheap" phone components. I doubt your MEMS sensor can stand up the rough treatments that the everyday day phone users put to their phones.

      Regarding test, can you match the number of "industrial" testers with number of phone users........ I rest my case.

    • So is there any evidence that these systems actually perform better in the real world, for all that?

  • Recently, definitely redundancy with Pixhawk , that means two Pixhawks in case one fails. I honestly do not think this is the answer to increased safety; a good preflight protocol, and practice, and pretesting the copter will do the job. Also training the pilor, practice in failsafes, and pre planning automatic flights, with Mission Control, that will give you a great and safe copter. However these are flying machines and a lot of things can go wrong, better be prepared!

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