Drones

Cleo isn't like other drones

Cleo isn't like other drones
The Cleo drone won't be mistaken for another model
The Cleo drone won't be mistaken for another model
View 2 Images
Plans call for the Cleo drone to be equipped with obstacle avoidance and indoor navigation systems
1/2
Plans call for the Cleo drone to be equipped with obstacle avoidance and indoor navigation systems
The Cleo drone won't be mistaken for another model
2/2
The Cleo drone won't be mistaken for another model

When Canadian engineers Omar Eleryan and Simon Czarnota first tried flying a regular drone, they were put off by how big, loud, hard to control and potentially dangerous it was. That prompted them to form Cleo Robotics, and develop the donut-shaped Cleo drone.

Recently showcased at CES, the Cleo fits in a pocket, is controlled by a smartphone app, and is equipped with an HD video camera.

What really sets it apart from other small drones, however, is the fact that it isn't a quadcopter. Instead, it has just two propellers that are stacked inside of its ducted body. Grates on the top and bottom protect users' fingers from those whirling props, meaning that it's possible to actually reach out and grab the drone as it's flying.

Flight time is 12 to 15 minutes per charge of its battery.

Plans call for the Cleo drone to be equipped with obstacle avoidance and indoor navigation systems
Plans call for the Cleo drone to be equipped with obstacle avoidance and indoor navigation systems

The exact manner in which it's steered is a trade secret at this point, although Eleryan has told IEEE Spectrum, "We introduce control surfaces into the airstream to change the direction of the airflow and create a thrust vectoring effect."

Plans call for the addition of obstacle avoidance and indoor navigation systems. Ultimately it is hoped that the Cleo will find use not only with hobbyists, but also in the security industry.

You can see a prototype in use, in the following video.

Source: Cleo Robotics via IEEE Spectrum

Cleo - The drone of the future

14 comments
Rusty Harris
And, when I can buy it at "Walmart" or "Amazon" I might think about it, but, if it comes out as a "startup" thingy, forget it.
Gregg Eshelman
Make one that looks and flies like the one in the Tom Selleck Sci-Fi movie "Runaway". Tiangle shaped, central, ducted propellers, cameras and other sensors all around.
owlbeyou
Has anyone made a drone that has a helium chamber? Enough to compensate the weight of the battery and motors but still maneuverable and not too light so that it's not affected much from wind buffeting?
Seems to me that would work (and increase the life of the battery charge). Someone must have thought of this, right?
yeahright
easy to figure out the propulsion system, as there really is only one way to produce vectoring effects
Paul Anthony
I like the form of this!
Bruce H. Anderson
This could be like a smaller version of the Fleye.
The "control surfaces" that "create a thrust-vectoring effect" could be something radical like flaps.
It doesn't look to be very fast, no doubt due to the "thrust vectoring" as well. But for security work, like making rounds, that may not be a problem.
It is interesting that they were concerned about noise, yet the only noise in the video is music.
It is "in" the future, probably as Kickstarter/Indiegogo thing, but it is not "of" the future.
JFP
Owlbeyou,
1 foot diameter helium balloon provides 0.03 lbs of lift 2 foot diameter helium balloon provides 0.27 lbs of lift
Such create too much drag.
CharlieSeattle
You're right it does not sound like other drones. It sounds like loud, cheesy elevator music.
bwana4swahili
Where do I buy a couple??
Must be Canadian... Looks like a hockey puck!!
IvanWashington
I would have liked to hear how loud the thing actually is, without that cheesy music in the way.