ELIOS drone for confined space and hard-to-reach areas
ELIOS makes it possible for the first time to be able to fly through complex confined space. This allows the potential of flying robots to be used in numerous areas of application in which their use was previously too dangerous or simply impossible.
Inspection of confined and inaccessible spaces
Footage from the Flyability ELIOS
What is the Flyability ELIOS drone suitable for?
Flyability ELIOS FAQ
We as Kopterflug have already conducted numerous inspections with the ELIOS drone in various environments and can give you direct feedback on your concerns and questions. In addition to the ELIOS drone, we also carry out industrial inspections with additional equipment and, if desired, develop the appropriate solution for your maintenance planning together with you. Just contact us!
The ELIOS is not a drone you can unpack and fly without training. While most drones can fly in GPS mode and keep their position relatively precise, the ELIOS drone is quite different. The ELIOS is an indoor drone and indoors (especially in tanks) there is of course no GPS signal. The ELIOS only has a barometer with which it can hold the altitude. The whole thing is comparable to a DJI drone with ATTI mode. While “normal” drones in ATTI mode are relatively inherently stable, the ELIOS drone is relatively unstable due to its cage (and cardanic suspension) and begins to drift very quickly. So if you have flown drones in GPS mode so far, you will have to change over when using the ELIOS drone. A good preparation is the training with small racing drones. Another very important aspect is the proximity to objects: With ELIOS you fly so close to objects that the downwind of the propeller creates vortices which make it extremely difficult to control the ELIOS in certain situations in confined spaces. Flying the ELIOS drone is a challenge. We consider the ELIOS drone more like a flying robot than a typical drone. The cage serves not only to protect the drone but also to help it roll along welds or objects in general. Since the ELIOS is equipped with an extremely powerful OnBoard lighting which is located inside the cage, the intensity of the lighting or the aperture control must be constantly adjusted while the drone is being controlled, otherwise the images are overexposed or underexposed. There is also an “automatic mode” for the exposure control of the camera – but there are many environments in which the automatic is not sufficient. Because flying the ELIOS requires some practice and experience, the manufacturer, Flyability, also offers a multi-level training program ( theoretical lessons online and practical on-site training) in Switzerland.
The ELIOS drone is extremely difficult to control, even in light winds, because the protective cage offers the wind an extremely large area and acts like a sail.
Yes, thanks to the integrated OnBoard lighting, all objects to be inspected are more than adequately illuminated. There is even a tendency to overexposure in complete darkness.
Spare parts such as cage elements, propellers, ground stations, chargers and rechargeable batteries are available directly from Flyability in Switzerland. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
No. The ELIOS must not be operated in ATEX environments. According to our knowledge (as of March 2019) there is currently no drone that has flown in ATEX environments – or whose operation is permitted in ATEX environments.
The ELIOS has a FullHD camera and records in 1080P. Since the objects can be directly approached down to a few centimeters, this is more than sufficient. We have made the experience that many of our industrial customers are often even unable to play back 4K Video.
The Flyability ELIOS drone transmits video data, telemetry data and control signals via 2.4 GHz technology. The process is essentially based on the DJI Lightbridge technology. High frequency spreads out like an optical signal. In steel tanks the ELIOS can be controlled through manholes over relatively long distances, whereas in concrete pipes connection problems occur already after the first turn.
The Flyability Inspector software is currently (March 2019) only available for Windows. We have managed a successful operation with Virtual Box and Windows 7 on MacOS. Parallels, on the other hand, didn’t work. But you should really go for a Windows Computer!
In the past, the technical data of computers and their components were constantly compared – as was the number of megapixels in digital cameras. It makes more sense to wonder what flight time is needed to complete a certain task. Of course it would sometimes be desirable if the ELIOS would fly 2-3 minutes longer – but in other scenarios a flight time of 6 minutes would be sufficient. Probably it would be possible to build a slightly larger ELIOS drone with a longer flight time, but what is the point if the ELIOS can no longer fly to all the narrow spots? So the flying time can be used optimally: During missions with the ELIOS drone, a risk assessment and a description of procedures are prepared before the flight and “actually” you don’t just fly off. The customer is also not interested in looking at any confusing pictures that do not have a chronological structure. Practice makes perfect: If a mission lasts 10 minutes for the first time, the same mission can be completed in less than 5 minutes with a little practice. We recently inspected LNG gas tanks in a cruise ship. The first 3 of the 27 segments took about 15 minutes each. 15 minutes flight time means a battery change, an additional video file and last but not least 15 minutes video footage. After we were able to familiarize ourselves with the special features of the tanks during the first flights ( airflow in the tank and specific camera settings) we were able to almost halve the operating time per segment and managed with one battery. During the first flights our ELIOS was still stuck at certain places in the tank, we corrected the exposure of the pictures at wrong times and too often and the departure speed was too slow. After some practice we were able to do the job reasonably and sensibly.
Whether it is worth buying or renting an ELIOS drone (with pilot) we can clarify together with you. The use of your own drone requires much more than “just” the drone. We have a lot of practical experience with the use of drones in industry and know what you need (starting with insurance). We are happy to answer your questions in advance. We only rent ELIOS drones with pilots, because the deployment of ELIOS requires comprehensive training. In addition, we also support you in the acquisition of your own ELIOS drone.