CES 2021 – Autel Announces Next Generation Dragonfish

AUTEL ANNOUNCES NEXT GENERATION DRAGONFISH

AUTEL ROBOTICS ANNOUNCES NEXT GENERATION VERTICAL TAKEOFF/LANDING (VTOL) AIRCRAFT WITH MULTIPLE PAYLOADS, 2 HOUR FLIGHT TIME, AND FULLY AUTOMATED INTELLIGENT FLIGHT

Bothell, WA.–(PRNews)–Jan 11, 2021– Autel Robotics today announced that Autel, a world leader in commercial/enterprise unmanned aircraft (drone) and aerial imaging, will release the new Dragonfish flight platform in second quarter, 2021. The fixed-wing aircraft offers a 120 minute flight time, take off/landing in space-restricted areas, rapid deployment/assembly time of under three minutes, and a range of up to 30KM. 

Adaptive tracking allows the aircraft to track vehicles, persons, or other moving objects from a range of 2000 meters, and allows the aircraft to self-manage terrain, points of interest, and automated flight management.

Payloads include a FLIR® Boson Radiometric camera at 640×512/30Hz resolution/refresh rate, 1” sensor photographic cameras, and other payloads for specific vertical requirements. The system is expandable to fit into virtually any workflow, although the Dragonfish was specifically designed for overwatch and other public safety uses. 

“We see the Dragonfish as a next-level aircraft designed for public safety, government, and military applications, with a long flight time, small carry package, multiple purpose-built payloads, and intelligent flight capability,” said Gary DeLuca of Autel Robotics USA, “we anticipate broad acceptance in the security and protection industries.”

The Dragonfish’s unique tilt rotor design simplifies operation and maximizes performance and efficiency. With no complicated moving parts, the dragonfish is modular, waterproof, smart and reliable. The Dragonfish is mission ready right out of the box and includes powerful Al tracking capabilities and a multitude of modular payload options. An endurance of 120 mins (including payload) further augments the Dragonfish’s robust mission capabilities and pushes it significantly ahead against other VTOL competition. Additionally, the Dragonfish is equipped with two RTK modules for redundancy. Integrating the GNSS Base Station with the RTK modules, the Dragonfish may achieve centimeter accuracy with precise headings and strong anti-magnetic interference capabilities. These modules back up one another and greatly improves the quality of image metadata for photogrammetry while increasing flight precision and safety.

Ground Control Station

The high resolution (2048×1536), 9.7 inches, ultra-bright (1000 nits) TFT-LCD touchscreen ensures maximum visibility and practicality in all situations. Autel Ground Control Station is water, dust, and water resistant. Autel Robotics new antenna design allows the video transmission to reach up to 18.6 miles (30km) The Autel Robotics ground station controller has a battery life of up to 6 hours and can be operated indefinitely with a remote power source.

Autel is currently developing pricing tiers for various verticals for which the Dragonfish is appropriate. 

The Autel Robotics Dragonfish will be shown during the virtual Consumer Electronics Show 2021 in  January 11 – 14.  The Autel Robotics Dragonfish is currently available in AsiaPac, and will be soon available in the Americas.

For more information on all the new features and capabilities of the Autel Dragonfish, please visit https://auteldrones.com/pages/dragonfish

About Autel
Opening its doors in 2004, Autel Tech expanded into unmanned aircraft in 2015. With their patented folding design, Autel Robotics revolutionized the packable drone industry. The company has offices, engineering and manufacturing teams in Germany, Shenzhen, USA (Washington and NY), and produces the EVO II Dual aircraft at the Bothell, WA location.  Learn more about AutelRobotics at AutelRobotics.com, and our social media @autelenterprise. 

EVO II from Autel-First Impressions

We received an Autel Evo II for evaluation and presentation to some of the public safety agencies with whom we work.  We are thrilled that Autel provided us with an Evo II to evaluate for an upcoming law enforcement conference.

The Evo II is a significant departure from the original Evo, and should not be viewed as merely an “upgrade” to the original Evo product. We have recommended, and will continue to recommend, the original Evo as a cost-effective, application-specific aircraft for small-area mapping, traffic reconstruction, overwatch, tactical insertions, construction sites, cinema, and many other uses.

The Evo II is a slightly larger aircraft body with longer flight capability (40mins+), and four different camera options.

  • 8K camera
  • 6K camera (1” sensor)
  • 8K/Thermal camera (320 x 256)
  • 8K/Thermal (640 x 512)

Since receiving the Evo II, we’ve put it through several paces both in actual and simulated use. During the DNC caucus’, and during the Town Halls, it was used for newsgathering, and used in a “let’s see what she’ll do” in monitoring dark alleyways near one of the hotels, for persons exiting/entering the side doors. It excelled in both environments. We’ve put it through some paces with the Greer, SC police department, where they own several other small-format UA with thermal capability.

The biggest question they asked is “How does it compare to our existing Mavic Pro Enterprise Edition?

Simply put, it’s not a remotely fair comparison. It’s inappropriate to compare the cameras due to significant differences in resolution.

The thermal camera options for the Enterprise Edition cannot/do not match the thermal camera on the Evo II, so there is no point of parity at which they can be compared. Having pointed that out;

  • The Evo II offers longer perch time/flight time(40mins plus)
  • The Evo II provides internal storage in the event of no available MSD card
  • The Evo II is less noisy
  • The Evo II offers significantly greater stability in wind.
  • The Evo II offers mapping in the application without need for third party support.
  • The Evo II has no geofencing, and can be deployed from case to cruise in less than 60 seconds.
  • The Evo II offers multiple, interchangeable cameras.

We posted a few photos to social media, with information regarding thermal and use beyond 50’. One SAR guru commented that “thermal cameras are useless beyond 50’, and drones often require flight above 100’ for purposes of clearing trees.” This was a surprising statement, inspiring us to run out in the late night and capture a few quick images.

By no means a scientific experiment, we raised the Evo II to an altitude of 210’, and put a 6” saucepan of hot water in the graveled shoulder of a residential street. We had left the saucepan on the driveway while setting up the aircraft. The below photos show not only the saucepan, but also the heated area remaining. The heated area was visible for over 30 mins beyond flight. These images are NOT part of our greater/deeper evaluation, but rather something we are able to quickly share. These images are directly from the camera, no edits. Images are captured straight overhead (the most inefficient angle for thermal viewing). I have also included one oblique angle for comparison. Not every palette was chosen for purposes of display, simply as a means of being efficient. These images were captured shortly prior to 2300, although the timestamps indicate nearly 2000 (we didn’t set the clock per timezone).

Mavic 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Evo II provides significantly greater data/resolution, but at a higher cost.

 

Oblique angle from 200′ away from subject. Note the heated concrete is still visible, separate from the saucepan of water.
 

 

Informally, we checked out the digital zoom with resampling feature on the Evo 2 thermal. Overall, we are impressed with the resampling quality of the zoomed image seen here.

Indoor comparison with EvoII

Indoor comparison with M2ED (MSX Enabled)
*Courtesy HTS Ag


These images were captured at 400′ altitude, and 2500′ from targets.

 

We will begin more formalized, focused evaluation in the coming days. Please reach out if you’d like to see any particular scenarios replicated/evaluated using the Evo 2 Thermal with the 30Hz 640 x 512 Boson core.
SMG is a consulting and training organization; we are an objective party receiving no revenue, compensation, spiff, commission, or other form of remuneration for digging into the aircraft we review for our clients.

 

By | February 24th, 2020|Drone, Inspection, Law Enforcement, Public Safety, Security, Software, sUAS, sUAS, Uncategorized|Comments Off on EVO II from Autel-First Impressions