PhotoFlight Aerial Media’s UAV drone operation was featured during the Hansel & Gretel exhibit, curated at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City. Prize-winning architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron and artist/activist Ai Weiwei, leverage UAV technology to explore the meaning of public space in our surveillance-laden world, referencing the story of Hansel and Gretel. More info can be found at: https://hanselgretelarmory.com/information
The result of six months of research, development and collaboration, PhotoFlight Aerial Media, one of America’s largest drone service providers, partnered with Easy Aerial, a drone tech company specializing in remote inspection and surveillance applications. While indoor drone flying is not groundbreaking, the use of multiple drones simultaneously, in a darkened exhibit hall, directly overhead and safely, reliably and consistently for two months is pioneering. The 55,000 square foot exhibit hall presented a challenge that very few teams have successfully accomplished.
“We are proud of this innovation, to be the first ever to fly multiple drones simultaneously, indoors with such attention to safety and precision,” stated David Weiner CEO of PhotoFlight Aerial Media.
The drones themselves are used for remote autonomous infrastructure inspections and surveillance. They consist of a Flybot – a computer core that takes care of the control and communication, and four arms with electric motors and propellers. Their payloads are thermal cameras that capture the images of people roaming about the exhibit space, transmitting live video to screens throughout the halls.
“One more element that makes this project difficult is the fact the room is dark, so new technology that uses cameras for orientation cannot be used,” explained Ido, CEO of Easy Aerial and former head of the drone group in the Israeli air force.
When flying indoors near or over the public, nets are usually used to create a barrier between the drones and people, mitigating the risk of any injuries resulting from a malfunction and crash. However, placing a net between the exhibit floor and the cameras and projectors was not an option.
A special Drone Safety Suspension System (or DS3), consisting of a pulley & tether system was specifically developed to ensure the safety of visitors. The DS3 was very carefully designed and thoroughly tested, requiring each drone to be equipped with its own retractable leash (aka tether). If the drone malfunctions, the tether serves as a safety system to prevent it from getting into the space occupied by the visitors.
PhotoFlight Aerial Media, www.photoflightam.com is a nationwide drone service provider delivering professional UAS Drone Services for News & Event Broadcast, Film Production, Marketing, Industrial / Engineering Companies, and Municipalities. Easy Aerial, www.easyaerial.com, provides a Smart Security service for construction and infrastructure sites.
Learn more about the history of surveillance, drone usage, and view a live stream on the Hansel & Gretel at https://hanselgretelarmory.com/