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Ready for liftoff
How Hecto Drone and Slamcore are making flights safer and more efficient
Introducing Hecto Drone
Hecro Drone’s multipurpose universal drone platform is perfect for a range of industrial and commercial use cases.
With unprecedented flight time and payload capabilities, the platform unlocks more autonomy and options. The drone can be used for long range autonomous BVLOS and heavy payload missions, or can simply be used as a regular drone with immense capabilities. A universal mounting plate allows you to mount equipment and payloads to the bottom of the drone.
The drone flies with Hecto Drone’s own flight computer (HDFI), which allows for unlimited range over the 4G network, as well as normal data links.
The sky’s the limit
Slamcore’s software helped in several key areas: GPS backup, obstacle avoidance, terrain avoidance, and time in air.
The Hecto Drone platform can, with the help of the HDFI computer, make use of various sensor inputs. Hecto drone can be used with intel realsense, sonar, camera, lidar and much more. This allows for Obstacle Avoidance, which means that the drone detects and avoids obstacles in the air.
The drone forms a local map from the on-board camera, which provides more precision and the possibility of object recognition.
With Slamcore, the drone could see the terrain in 3D, making a mesh of the top layer and producing an accurate estimate of the drone’s location at any given time. That kind of detailed terrain following was tricky to get right before, with lasers not as effective measuring across the tops of trees and bushes to the ground.
The platform can also be used in a swarm, where several drones work together, for example, a swarm of 10 drones transporting blood samples can be observed by a remote pilot.
It was also easier and more efficient to set up. Instead of having sensors pointing forward and down plus a third system for GPS backup, Slamcore’s software had everything they needed in one package.
Hecto Drone can now carry around 25kg for one hour, or 1kg for a whopping 10 hours – all substantial results (previous drones lasted around five minutes, and needed a battery change every 20 mins). That in turn has unlocked the ability to engage in large-scale data collection, for example inspecting electricity grids, and urban development and surveying.
Hecto Drone’s smart obstacle avoidance and lounge time in the air have made it a real success.
Hecto Drone is used by companies across Europe for everything from large-scale inspections to autonomous deliveries and logistics.
The drone, which used to stay in the air for around 40 minutes, now lasts around 10 hours.
It’s particularly useful on inspections across large areas, like wind farms and urban development surveying thanks to its extended time in the air.