Dronut X1 drone keeps its rotors safely inside its body
It was three years ago that we first heard about the Cleo, a robust, donut-shaped prototype drone made by Cleo Robotics. Well, its successor is now commercially available, under the new (and apt) name of the Dronut X1.
Like its predecessor, the Dronut X1 features just two counter-rotating rotors stacked one above the other. While we have seen other drones that take this approach, Cleo Robotics goes the extra step of enclosing those rotors within a composite ducted body. This means that they can't harm bystanders, nor can they be harmed when bumping into obstacles such as walls.
According to the company, the X1 is designed for applications such as inspection and reconnaissance within cramped and/or GPS-denied environments. It's Wi-Fi-controlled via a joystick remote and an Android app, although it can autonomously hold its position, and it can avoid obstacles with some help from an onboard 3D LiDAR sensor. Steering is managed through a proprietary thrust vectoring system.
The X1 also streams real-time 1080p/30fps video to its user plus it shoots and records 4K footage, with four LED spotlights providing illumination. One 40-minute charge of its removable lithium battery ought to be good for a flight time of 12 minutes.
Should you be interested in getting one for yourself (or more likely your business), the Dronut X1 is available now for US$9,800. It can be seen in action, in the video below.