Drones on the Inside: The Elios Gets Down and Dirty

elios-droneWhile most commercial drone applications take place in the great outdoors, Swiss drone developer Flyability has recently introduced at drone designed for inspection in closed and confined spaces.

The Elios is the first collision-tolerant drone, designed for industrial and structural inspection inside tight, cramped and often dangerous environments.

The feature that distinguishes the Elios from a regular drone is its ultra-lightweight spherical cage. Made out of carbon fibre, the cage provides a buffer to almost any kind of obstacle. The cage not only allows the drone to not get caught up in (or damage the structure) under inspection, it also allows the drone’s camera to get really up close to areas that need detailed and close inspection – say welds, pipe joins or valve leaks.

In addition, the drone comes equipped with its own full-HD camera, a built-in FLIR infrared camera, powerful LED lights and on-board video recording to SD cards. The Elios can also transmit live video back to the operator using DJI’s Lightbridge 2 system, so can be flown beyond visual line of sight over considerable distances.

elios-drone-on-siteThe Elios’ forté is industrial inspection in difficult, inaccessible and often dangerous areas, such as industrial boilers and tank inspections, inspection of ship ballast chambers and cargo holds, the insides of large pipes, drainage systems or pipe installations, and the up-close inspection of outdoor structures where perhaps a conventional drone cannot get in close enough. 

In short, where workers cannot tread, the Elios could be an invaluable asset. Real time video and thermal imaging can enable technicians and engineers to get a better insight into the problem that a particular structure or machine faces. The result is less downtime and lower inspection costs. 

dronesurvey.HK hopes to bring one or more Elios drones to Hong Kong shortly for initial evaluation and client testing. Please contact us if you’d like more information.