Prodrone PD6-CI-L

A self-propelling surface-clinging drone able to inspect both ceilings and vertical surfaces, for the civil infrastructure inspection market.

Who would have thought.

Lots of power to keep it in position I would have thought. Autonomous inspection is fast becoming a thing.

The PD6-CI-L addresses a key pain point in bridge inspection. Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism has identified 700,000 road bridges as requiring inspection, but unique environmental conditions like powerful wind gusts often make it difficult for traditional drones designed to hover to complete inspections.

PRODRONE’s extraordinary development team came up with a drone that did not inspect while hovering, but instead uses negative pressure to cling directly to the inspection surface. The design enables accurate image capture by maintaining a constant focal distance from the inspection surface. Not only is the PD6-CI-L able to inspect ceilings (horizontal surfaces), but with its L-shape, it can also cling to walls (vertical surfaces) – all in the one machine. This enables the drone to perform in a wider range of situations, as it cannot merely inspect bridges, but also the walls of any type of architectural structure.

The groundbreaking design of the PD6-CI-L is based on PRODRONE’s first surface-clinging infrastructure inspection drone, the PD4-CI, which won extremely high praise across the industry when the company unveiled it in April 2016. The new PD6-CI-L refines the ideas behind the first model, which could only cling to ceilings. By building on requests received from many members of the industry, PRODRONE expects to expand the utility of its infrastructure inspection drones.

PD6-CI-L Specifications (Provisional)

Motor-to-Motor Length : 600mm (24 in.) (to levitate) 418mm (16 in.) (to move forward)
Maximum Payload : 2kg (4.4 lbs.)
Airframe Weight : 6kg (13 lbs.)
Maximum Speed : 5km/h (3 mph) (propulsion speed when inspecting) 20km/h (12 mph) (normal flight)
Total Height : 720mm (28 in.)
Maximum Operating Wind Speed : 5m/s (11 mph) (does not include when moving across a surface during inspection)
Propeller Diameter : 15 inches
Maximum Flight Time : 10 minutes
Battery : 22.2v/6000mAh x2
Maximum Operating Altitude(Pressure Altitude) : 3,000m (9,843 ft.)
Other : 6 wheels to move across a surface during inspection