A company named Emesent based in Brisbane has launched a technology that they claim can help drones venture into unmapped areas and areas where the communication range is low. This drone will be the first of its kind. Up until now, drones have only been able to venture into areas that can be tracked using the GPS, and usually, they can not fly into out of sight areas where they might lose signal. The company is calling this project the ‘first plug-and-play payload’. Emesent is an alumni company of the larger and much popular firm CSIRO Data61. The new technology that Emesent has developed can collect data and map difficult to reach areas like mines, areas struck with natural disasters, etc.
The technology that Emesent has worked on or rather built is Hovermap’s SLAM, also known as simultaneous localization and mapping, an autonomous flight system. Emesent integrated an autonomy level 2 (AL2) on to the previously existing levels. This technology allows companies to track, map, or rather navigate into challenging zones and locations like mines, areas hit with natural disasters, telecommunication infrastructure, and construction sites. This technology might open up access to locations where tracking has been difficult because of low signals and because some of these areas are too difficult for humans to venture into.
Stefan Hrabar, Emesent co-founder and CEO, said in an interview that “With the intelligence to navigate environments without a prior map, customers can use the system to carry out complex missions, secure the safety of personnel, and drive greater efficiency in their operations.”
The company may be focusing on selling this technology to a lot of security federations of the country who often have to deal with rescue missions and other such activities where they need to go into unfamiliar zones and also ensure the safety of their force.
Emesent proceeded to tell the world more about how beneficiary the AL2 technology would be. The technology allows the drone to process real-time data on the spot and stream the map of the area and send it back to the operator’s tablet. They also pointed out that the availability of a beyond line of sight drone will help ensure the workers’ safety and enhance visibility. As part of the project’s testing, Emesent partnered with DJI drones to check whether the technology was compatible with their drone models and made sure that they were. The firm will test out other models later on down the plan. They chose to test on DJI initially because this firm is undoubtedly one of the largest drone manufacturers and sellers across the world.
The AL2 technology has come as an integration to the previous AL1 technology that has been serving the firm’s customers for over two years now. Andrew rouse, the CTO of Pybar Mining Services, said that Emesent’s AL2 technology would be a ‘game-changer’ for them. It would enable them to obtain critical data in real-time ‘without risking the machines’. “We’re already seeing great benefits to our workflow and operational efficiency from using the new technology”, said Andrew.