Long-Range Obstacle Avoidance
A long-range forward-facing ultrasonic sensor to detect obstacles in its path. PlexiDrone will autonomously stop and wait for operator input or until the obstacle has been removed. The forward ultrasonic sensor has a sensing range of up to 25 ft with resolution of 0.4 in.
Downward-Facing Ultrasonic Sensor
PlexiDrone features a downward-facing ultrasonic sensor to assist the barometric pressure and GPS sensors in measuring altitude. Having an accurate altitude measurement greatly improves PlexiDrone's performance and safety. While competing products use low-cost sensors to sell similar features, PlexiDrone uses a high-grade sensor with:
- built-in signal noise filtering (increases signal integrity)
- dedicated processor for computing distance (reduces load on flight controller)
- temperature compensation (improves distance estimation for real-life operation)
This higher quality sensor specifically improves performance for:
- Altitude Hold (automatic)
- Position Hold (automatic)
- Auto Landing
- Auto Takeoff
Ultra-Stable Position Hold
Holding position in the air is not as simple as staying stationary on the ground; air is constantly moving while the ground stays in place. In order to hold an in-air position a combination of high accuracy and well-calibrated sensors must be used. PlexiDrone uses the following 6 high-performance sensors to achieve position lock:
- 2 x ultrasonic sensors
- 1 x magnetometer
- 1 x optical flow sensor
- 1 x barometric pressure and temperature sensor
- 1 x WAAS enabled GPS sensor
These sensors work together to give PlexiDrone a true advantage in its altitude hold. Click here for more information about PlexiDrone's sensors.
Indoor Position Hold Without GPS
PlexiDrone comes with GPS navigation features, but GPS is not available in all environments. When flying in GPS-denied environments, PlexiDrone still has 5 other high-performance sensors (2 ultrasonic sensors, 1 magnetometer, 1 optical flow sensor, 1 barometric pressure sensor) to hold its position.
Automatic Free-Fall Detection
By using a sensor fusion that includes the built-in barometric pressure, ultrasonic, and accelerometer, sensors, PlexiDrone can detect free-fall. This is an advanced safety feature that will automatically shut down motors in the event that a serious failure occurs that causes PlexiDrone to free-fall or exceed a maximum rate of descent.
This feature is designed to prevent PlexiDrone from causing damage or injury that could otherwise occur if the propellers were to continue to spin and if power were to continue to be drawn from a damaged battery.
Smart Battery with Backup Processor
Battery safety is increasingly important as the industry standard lithium-polymer battery chemistry can be hazardous if misused. The PlexiPower Battery raises the bar for safety with an industry first back-up processor to keep PlexiDrone flying in the case of a main processor or battery error. If the main processor experiences a malfunction, the backup processor immediately kicks in to maintain power and safety of flight. PlexiDrone is the first commercially available camera drone designed to meet this added level of safety for battery power management.
Tolerate In-flight Motor or Propeller Failure
PlexiDrone X8 can keep flying safely even if a mid-air motor or propeller failure is experienced. This is made possible by a 50% boost in thrust and coaxial motor mounting for the PlexiDrone X8 configuration. PlexiDrone's ultra-fast flight controller detects the imbalance created by the failure, stabilizes itself, and then notifies its operator to land safely, and as soon as possible. This feature is specific to the X8 configuration and does have operational limits. Please note that continued operation without replacing damaged or failed components is prohibited, and can be result in physical damage or injury.
Landing Gear Side-Impact Bumpers
PlexiDrone's impact-dampening landing gear has been designed to act as propeller guards (side-impact bumpers) when fully retracted. These side-impact bumpers add a margin of safety should any minor collisions occur. The landing gear dampers provide an energy dissipating cushion to help protect your PlexiDrone and its surroundings.
Visual, Audio, and Vibration Alerts
Low Battery Alerts
PlexiDrone knows exactly when its battery level is low and when to send a "low battery" alert to your PlexiHub CS controller. In addition, the PlexiPower battery shows its current battery level via its LED panel. Colors change from green (fully charged) to yellow (partially charged) to red (low).
PlexiDrone has a voice and it is used to keep you safe! When initially powered on, PlexiDrone runs its pre-flight checks and then tells you that “PlexiDrone is ready.” If anything is found out of place during these checks, PlexiDrone will literally tell you what needs attention. Phrases like "GPS Locked," "PlexiHub connected," "Battery level low!" are clearly communicated to you. That means you no longer need to flip through a manual to figure out what the various beep-codes or LED color sequences mean.
In addition to PlexiDrone's voice, there are as well visual alerts to clearly inform you what is going on with Plexi. PlexiDrone's front, rear, and PlexiArm LED panels will provide a visual indication of PlexiDrone's current state, warnings or errors. Even in mid-air, if PlexiDrone senses an approaching object then it will sound an alarm and flash bright red lights to draw your attention.
PlexiHub Visual + Vibration Alerts
If you’re flying with the PlexiHub CS, alerts are also provided by the controller. The LED rings around the control sticks provide status and warnings for the state of the PlexiDrone. An LED status bar also lets you know PlexiHub's battery state and connection status. If something critical happens the PlexiHub controller will vibrate indicating that immediate attention is required.