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senseFly set to release eBee industrial UAV

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January 17, 2013

senseFly's new eBee UAV

senseFly's new eBee UAV

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Three years ago, Swiss sensor manufacturer senseFly released its Swinglet CAM unmanned aerial vehicle. Priced around US$10,600, the little aircraft can follow a pre-programmed flight path or be piloted by remote control, and uses its built-in 12-megapixel camera to create aerial maps, or keep tabs on things like wildlife, crops and traffic. Now, based on its experiences with the Swinglet CAM, senseFly is about to release a new UAV known as the eBee.

Thanks to its detachable wings, the foam-bodied eBee and all its associated gear fits in a sturdy case that meets International Air Transport Association guidelines as carry-on luggage.

Once on site it can be launched by hand, after which it will autonomously follow a flight path mapped out in advance by the user, via the included eMotion 2 software. Users are also able to take control of the UAV at any point, and remotely pilot it in real time. Upon completion of its flight, it can land itself without any human intervention – thanks partially to an integrated ground sensor and the ability to run its motor in reverse.

The eBee has a wingspan of 96 centimeters (37.8 inches) and weighs in at 630 grams (22 oz)...

Some of the eBee’s other features include a 16-megapixel camera, onboard data logging, and the capacity to create 3D maps using that data after the flight. It has a 3-kilometer (1.9-mile) radio range, a maximum cruising speed of 57 km/h (35 mph), can hold its course against winds of up to 45 km/h (28 mph), and manages about 45 minutes of flight time on one charge of its lithium-polymer battery.

It has a wingspan of 96 centimeters (37.8 inches) and weighs in at 630 grams (22 oz), making it slightly larger and heavier than the Swinglet CAM – on the plus side, however, its camera, radio range, top speed, and flight time are better than those of the Swinglet.

Although there are any number of uses that the eBee could likely be put to, senseFly is aiming it at industries such as surveying and mining. While hobbyists might like to fly it around their neighborhood just for fun, at a planned price of around $12,000 (according to a report in IEEE Spectrum), they might want to find something else ... such as a $300 AR Drone, which is made by senseFLY’s new parent company, Parrot.

Source: senseFly via IEEE Spectrum

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
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2 Comments

If these UAVs flew high enough and for long enough with an infrared camera attached, you could significantly reduce the crime rate by tracking burglars and so on. They would have to stay up until day time to lose the tracking but perhaps they would do this also.

Dan Barkley
19th January, 2013 @ 05:13 am PST

Um, this plane is no where near 12K, try about double that if you get a quote.... If you want a true 12K ish platform try the Zephyr2.

Corey Zeimen
2nd February, 2013 @ 07:49 pm PST
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