When drone-maker Robota began designing their latest model of advanced fixed-wing UAV for surveying applications, its engineers knew they would have to leverage the latest and best technologies available in order to set their offering apart from the competition. Introduced in 2016, the Eclipse UAV is an advanced mapping system, which can cover nearly 400 acres per 50-minute flight and capture high resolution images with on-board cameras. Its usages include agriculture, construction, mining, and urban analysis.
Ruling out ultrasonic sensors, which are often used on entry-level UAV but lack in performances and reliability, Robota’s engineering team did plenty of research and ended up shortlisting a variety of optical solutions readily available. Optical flow sensors, which are used in some commercial fixed wing UAS, were on that list. Laser-based ranging sensors, which are also used in drone altimetry, were being considered as well. The company acquired various LiDAR sensors for evaluation purposes from different vendors. Doing their homework, Robota’s engineers thoroughly tested and compared the various technologies.
Many factors influenced Robota’s decision to use LeddarOne. In particular, the sensors’ low pricing, compact size, and superior power and range were key differentiators. Even if standard integration challenges were faced along the course of the project, the ease of doing business with the supplier was an element that clearly stood out, according to Antonio Liska, President at Robota: “Besides the superior functionality of the product, I enjoy the configurability of the device, and the frequent firmware updates provided. Moreover, we received consistent support and prompt feedback from the LeddarTech team.”
LeddarOne sensors can be used in various types of drones, including multi-rotors, for altimetry applications. Other models of Leddar sensors, such as the multi-segment LeddarVu, cater to other drone navigation applications, including collision avoidance.