A company in Germany is offering a new solution to the problem of drone collision: a collision avoidance unit which works with different sensors, does not need GPS-positioning and can be fitted into almost any rotary wing or multirotor platform.
Drones have already become an important tool for many businesses and we have still to understand the full impact of this new industry. What is already clear is that, apart from its huge economic potential, the small and agile drones also represent a real danger: touch an obstacle with the blades of a rotorcraft, and it will come falling down. To illustrate the severity of the problem just recall that every single month, on average, there are at least 25 cases of near-collision events involving drones and airplanes.
Instead of trying to come up with a “be-all “ solution, the company AEVO GmbH in Germany has developed an electronic unit called AECAS which receives obstacle and user command information and, solely based on this information, determines a set of command corrections which prevent the flight vehicle from colliding. The obstacle information can be passed to the AECAS unit either by directly connecting a sensor or by providing obstacle information in a specific standard format – in this way users are free to choose the sensor they want and where or how to integrate it.
The AECAS units were designed to be completely independent of GPS positioning. In order to know how fast the vehicle is moving without relying on GPS information, the team at AEVO developed a new depth-based SLAM technology which uses the information of where obstacles “are” relative to the vehicle to find out “how” to avoid them.
Depending on the AECAS model, you get 3 levels of collision avoidance capability:
- EDC – Emergency Distance Control, for keeping a minimum distance between vehicle and obstacles (available with the AECAS100 and AECAS2000 models)
- ABS – Automated Braking Supervisor, for gradually braking before coming too close to obstacles (available only with the AECAS2000)
- HIBS – High-Performance Braking Supervisor, for very demanding flight profiles (available only with the AECAS2000)
The AECAS100 model costs 249,- EUR before taxes and can be ordered online. The advanced model AECAS 2000 will be available for order in the summer. For more information please visit www.aevo-cas.com.