A drone you can drive your car over? Thanks to a spherical, carbon fiber monocoque exoskeleton, this FPV racing drone can take one hell of a beating – or a dunk in the snow or a puddle – and could save the average pilot a fair bit of tinkering time after a crash.
FPV drone flying is a ton of fun, but crashing is a big part of the sport, and while we're generally pretty impressed with the way ready-to-fly kit racers like the Walkera F210 take a pounding, they do have a lot of exposed electronics that eventually get bashed and wrecked in our incapable hands.
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That's why the Aerodyne Nimbus 195 looks like such a great idea. Instead of being built on a multi-layered flat, straight carbon frame like most racers, the Nimbus has its innards built into and totally protected by a carbon monocoque exoskeleton, formed from the inside in a cavity mold and with thickness varying from 1 to 4 millimeters depending on the stresses each area needs to take.
This sphere-based shape is tough enough to go under the wheels of a car without cracking, and its stubby arms are just as tough, taking high speed brick wall impacts with ease – at least in the promo video. There's also bound to be some aerodynamic benefits for hard chargers.
Keeping the gizzards inside the shell lets the Nimbus achieve an IP54 water ingress protection rating, which effectively means splash protection in case you stack it into the snow or a puddle.
Of course, this kind of frame construction is labour intensive and thus not cheap; a frame by itself is listed at an early bird rate of US$160 in Aerodyne's Nimbus Indiegogo campaign, and a bind and fly package, giving you a fully functional racing drone with good quality components and no controller, will run you some $490. For the ready to fly package including controller you are looking at a $750 outlay, with deliveries slated for March 2017.
Still, if it's as strong as it looks, it should solidly outlast a regular frame, not to mention saving you all those little bits of time and fiddling and money when components break. And if it keeps you in the air longer, who's to say that's not money well spent?
See the Nimbus take an absolute pounding in this video:
Source: Aerodyne RCView gallery - 15 images