Cambridge, Mass.-based Panoptes Systems Corp. has introduced the eBumper4, what the company says is the first commercially available, sonar-based, obstacle-avoidance system for small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
eBumper4's four sonar sensors provide the drone with information about the physical environment to the front, right, left and above. When eBumper4 senses an obstacle in the field of view, the system prevents the drone from getting too close to it. As the drone moves away from the obstacle, the pilot regains control and can continue operations as before.
The product is effective at operating speeds up to 8 ft/sec (2.5 m/sec). ‘eBumper4 holds great promise for enabling safer and more efficient commercial drone activities in the areas of industrial inspection and cinematography, both indoors and out,’ says Annalisa Weigel, CEO of Panoptes.
It is currently being offered for the DJI Phantom 2 line of drones and 3D Robotics’ Iris+.
The company is planning eBumper4 offerings for more platforms. Panoptes will also release a software development kit, enabling users to create custom eBumper4 apps.
Orders are being taken now through April 11 for the eBumper4 through Kickstarter. Delivery is anticipated for this summer.