Flyability Launches New Inspection Drone for Confined Spaces

Published: 30 Apr 2019

Flyability Elios 2 indoor inspection drone

Flyability, a developer of indoor inspection and exploration drones, has announced the launch of Elios 2, a new generation of confined space inspection UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles).

“At the heart of Flyability products lies collision-tolerance. It is the true enabler to gathering data in the intricate and hostile places where our customers are searching for insights,” said Patrick Thévoz, CEO of Flyability. Elios 2 features intuitive flight operation and data collection capabilities to safely and easily inspect dangerous and confined spaces while delivering the actionable data needed to make critical maintenance and certification decisions.

“To date, more than 550 Elios drones have been deployed at over 350 sites to inspect critical infrastructure for industries as diverse as power generation, mining, oil and gas, and chemical, even operating in radioactive areas of nuclear plants,” Thévoz said. “While Flyability’s expertise is in drone technologies, we are really in the business of keeping people safe and reducing asset downtime.”

Building upon years of customer feedback, Flyability has learned the importance of building tools that can be used by anyone, that provide high data quality, and that can replicate techniques used by seasoned inspectors in the field. “In developing Elios 2 we asked our users to challenge us. With their critical feedback, we went back to the drawing board to design, from the ground up, the ultimate indoor inspection drone they had dreamt about,” said Dr. Adrien Briod, Co-founder & CTO of Flyability. “The result is an intuitive-to-fly drone fitted with an unobstructed 4K camera that can hover in place to spot sub-millimeter cracks. It performs reliably in GPS denied environment, in dark, dusty and troubled airflows, beyond line of sight, and particularly in places that no other drone can access.”

Flyability has reinvented collision-tolerance, transforming a formerly passive mechanical protection design into active intelligence built into the flight controller and motors of the Elios 2. Complemented by 7 vision stability sensors pointing in all directions to provide GPS-free stabilization, Elios 2 makes airborne indoor inspection accessible to everyone.

“Here is a drone you can hand to somebody who’s never used it and they’ll be successful with it”, said Ryan Turner, Geotechnical Engineer at the Barrick Golden Sunlight Mine.

With its 4K camera optimized for rendering images with a resolution of 0.18 mm/px at 30 cm, Elios 2 provides the level of details professional inspectors would get by standing at an arm’s length of objects of scrutiny. The Elios 2 also features the most powerful and intelligent lighting system ever built on a commercial drone. It produces 10K Lumen of light for increased situational awareness in large spaces. The Indirect, dustproof lighting configuration allows traversing dirty places without losing sight of the objective.

Elios 2 also features an oblique lighting mode to reveal the texture of surfaces, detecting pitting and cracks, by creating shadows in all asperities. Coming together, these features turn the Elios 2 into an inspection tool fit to carry on regulated inspections.

“If you wonder whether the Elios 2 can be used for an official API510 pressure vessel inspection witnessed by a third-party inspection entity, the answer is yes,” said Steven Verver, Founder of Ronik Inspectioneering.

The Elios 2 brings to market many other features including a thermal camera, shockproof payload, full HD live video feedback, distance lock, 2D measurements, 3D modeling, a modular design for easy maintenance, and a completely redesigned software suite that streamlines data management for planning to reporting.

Flyability will be exhibiting the Elios 2 at the AUVSI Xponential 2019 trade show in Chicago.

Posted by Mike Ball Mike is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passions for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years.