Flybotix is a Swiss company located at EPFL’s Innovation Park, in the heart of Switzerland’s drone valley. It develops a dual-propeller drone, ASIO, which specializes in the inspection of confined industrial assets. This aircraft, based on a patented propulsion system and surrounded by a protective cage, sets a new industry standard in terms of flight time and redundancy. It is also equipped with cameras and sensors and is powered by advanced algorithms, making it easy to pilot and capable of navigating in complex environments. ASIO was launched in October 2020 and will perform its first inspection missions on clients’ premises by the end of the year.
“PX4 was the obvious choice right from the beginning. The powerful structure of the open source code, the flexible licence policy and the strong community behind enabled Flybotix to confidently base its brand new system on PX4. This beside the fact that PX4 originates from ETHZ, the school where Auterion-founders and I collaborated in the past.”
The drone has a rock-solid patented cage which allows it to safely navigate in cluttered environments and even self-right itself if required; this astonishing algorithm, inspired by turtles, triggers a pendulum movement. ASIO rocks back and forth for a few seconds until the swinging movement returns it to an upright position.
“ASIO flight controller is built upon PX4 open source software and Pixhawk FMUv5 hardware standard. We have adapted the system to the needs of our clients with proprietary drivers, sensor fusion, control, mixing, pilot assistance, etc… all this while benefiting from the outstanding community work! We believe in the open source model and intend to share with the community. Mixing is next in the pipeline.”
ASIO is small enough to maneuver in tight spaces like manholes, ducts or sewers and can stay airborne for up to 24 minutes, the industry record in its category. To achieve this prowess, Flybotix engineers developed a propulsion system similar to the one used on helicopters, which have unparalleled aerodynamic performances, while replacing the classic mechanical stabilization system by an electromagnetic system and advanced control algorithms. This breakthrough allows ASIO to become the leader in terms of flight time on this market, outperforming the solutions currently available.