3689654004?profile=originalWe are working on a flying camera that differs from the regular quadcopters, using a Ducted Fan UAV design. This allow us to have a much safer and robust device, that the user can easily hold, push, grab, etc.. Fleye is about the same size and weight than a soccer ball (22cm wide, 350g). It is powered by a single propeller, fully shielded. You can safely hold it in your hands, throw it, catch it and fly it nearby people.

We are starting to communicate and gather feedback now, with a tentative launch (crowdfunding) this fall. You can read more details on our blog.

I know some of your usual questions, so let me try to already answer them :-)

  • This is not APM but our own autopilot, entirely developped with a Model Based Design approach for the core sensor fusion and control and running on a cortex M4.
  • Smartphone controlled over wifi, no RC version planned at this stage
  • We have a dual core ARM A9 on board for managing wifi, video streaming, and some computer vision tasks

I would really like to get your feedback on this !



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  • I like the frame, making it almost spherical is a good idea for many reasons. Keep it up Laurent!

  • Thanks all !

    @kieran We need to benchmark this against others. So far we get similar noise than a quad with similar props. Mitigation: material choice (shield is EPP), managing vibrations and breaking harmonics by breaking symmetry. Special care to the inner stator design is key.

    @Greg Thx ! It is in fact quite sophisticated, we are making it as autonomous as possible (to make it really easy for users to take great shots from their smartphone). Thus we have lots of electronics in there: optical flow, sonar, gps, ARM A9 on board computer, wifi, HD video, etc...  All tightly packed in the ball :-)

  • Looks really great. I think this is exactly what consumers with little knowledge need, and it is huge market. It also doesn't look too sophisticated, so i guess the production costs will be ok. With a good strategy this can be a hit product. Wish you the best!

  • Very much catches one's fancy! I'll be watching and waiting.
  • My experience with ducted airflow, especially with the level of shielding you propose, is that they are unbelievably noisy. How would you get around that?
  • Way cool! These would make a great swarm platform, maybe a reach goal for crowdfunding?

  • @john Thanks for the feedback. It is a ducted fan (for lack of better terms) but not an EDF. We have a 2 blade only propeller (edf usually have many) and standard RC brushless motor. The control is done using vanes in the air flow. This is the same concept as seen in many military UAVs such as the T-Hawk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yt1z5x6-uBE

    We need to make a video showing the internals at work.

  • I like the concept and am looking forward to more detail on the mechanical control of a single rotor design. Especially with the single rotor being an edf. Also curious on the flight times... Since ducted fans are most efficient when they are traveling at higher speeds and are scooping air through the inlet. Static thrust is at the bottom of the efficiency curve.
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