Heavy-lift drone could carry a person
When it comes to industrial copter-type drones, it's easy to think that there are just two varieties: little ones that carry Amazon-type small packages, and full-sized unmanned helicopters. Griff Aviation, however, recently announced an aircraft that sits somewhere between the two. The Norwegian company's Griff 300 weighs 75 kg (165 lb) on its own, and can reportedly lift a payload of up to 225 kg (496 lb).
The Griff 300 is an octocopter, meaning it has eight propellers each powered by a separate motor. Depending on how much it's carrying, one charge of its battery pack is good for a claimed flight time of 30 to 45 minutes.
It's manually flown from the ground using a radio remote control, although users can also opt for a custom helicopter-cabin-like mobile control station in which they fly it by first-person view.
Buyers can of course saddle it up with whatever cargo carriers, sensors or other gear they wish, although specific payload options are available as extras. These have been designed for users such as the armed forces, law enforcement, fire fighters, and search and rescue teams. There's also a package aimed at wind turbine maintenance, along with one designed to facilitate straight-up cargo-carrying.
There's currently no word on price, although an even burlier model is on the way – the Griff 800 will reportedly be able to carry a payload of up to 800 kg (1,764 lb). Models with even higher capacities are also planned.
In the meantime, you can see the Griff 300 in flight below.