This article provides an overview demonstrating how PlexiDrone is built with components more rugged than those used on other commercially available camera drones. The development team's expertise in reliability, aerospace, mechanical, and electrical engineering makes for a strong focus on the safety and durability of every component.
Covered in this article:
- Shock Absorbing Retractable Landing Gear
- PlexiDrone's Rugged Detachable Arms with Triple-click
- Military Grade Detachable Arm Connectors
- Ultra-Secure Quick-Release Payload Clip
- 32-bit Flight Controller Board
- Long Range Obstacle Avoidance
- 32-bit ESCs
- Advanced Position Correction Sensors
- Superior Low Altitude Hold
- High Accuracy WAAS Enabled GPS Sensor
- Related Video
PlexiDrone's Shock-Absorbing Landing Gear is designed to provide great stability and reliability upon landing. Features include:
- large landing footprint to accommodate a variety of terrain
- auto adjustment for odd angles and uneven surfaces
- maximum shock absorption with patent pending spring plate & pneumatic damper system
Spring Plate & Pneumatic Dampers
The shock absorbing mechanism protects your camera and PlexiDrone.
Stainless Steel Quick-Release Pins
Stainless Steel Quick-Release Pins are the ideal for strength and ease of assembly.
Designed to Withstand Free Fall
Built to protect your cameras and/or payloads during hard landings.
The rugged triple-click snaplock mechanism is one of PlexiDrone's signature design features. This feature has been tested extensively and is capable of holding the PlexiDrone X8 Detachable Arms rigidly even though each arm can generate more than 1500 grams / 3.3 pounds of thrust.
Military grade connectors are used to transfer electrical signal & power reliably between PlexiDrone's chassis and its motor arms. The proprietary custom designed connector has 10 signal pins and can transfer current up to 20 amps simultaneously. The connector's and arm's plastics are also designed to prevent incorrect assembly.
PlexiDrone's quick-release Universal Payload Clip also features a secure triple-click snap lock. This creates an extremely secure and rigid connection between PlexiDrone's main chassis and your payloads. A spring is also installed behind the quick release trigger for some added security and force feedback.
PlexiDrone's main brain is a custom designed Flight Control Board (FCB) featuring highly efficient processors for handling flight systems, controls, safety, and customization. The main processor has a host of high precision sensors to help assure accurate positioning and smooth flight including:
- 1 x 32-bit main processor
- 1 x fail-safe coprocessor (redundant backup for main flight controls)
- 1 x 14-bit accelerometer
- 2 x 16-bit gyroscopes
- 1 x 14-bit I2C external magnetometer
- 1 x 14-bit I2C internal magnetometer
- 1 x barometric pressure + temperature sensor
- 1 x built-in flight recorder (via user accessible microSD card)
The redundant sensor pairs provide additional precision with the added benefit of additional protection in the event of any failures or malfunction. It should be noted that this level of redundancy for extra safety is not an industry standard employed by competing products.
Note: The flight controller board does not contain all the advanced sensors and features PlexiDrone uses. GPS, Optical Flow, Communication, and Obstacle Avoidance sensors are external, but connected to the flight controller.
PlexiDrone is equipped with a long range forward facing Ultrasonic Sensor for obstacle avoidance. With a sensing range of up to 7.6m / 25ft and resolution of 1.0cm / 0.4in, PlexiDrone can alert you about oncoming objects with ample time to avoid collision and take corrective action.
32-bit Electronic Speed Controllers (ESC) ultimately result in much finer motor control. It is this increased sensitivity to motor commands that allows PlexiDrone to make adjustments so small, which is impossible on platforms that use the typical 8-bit control architecture.
Note: This much finer motor control is what results in much smoother flight and video. PlexiDrone is the first aerial photography drone to implement a controller of this class.
PlexiDrone comes equipped with a fine tuned Optical Flow Sensor (OFS) for smooth and stable positional hold. The OFS consists of a high resolution light sensitive camera paired with a downward facing ultrasonic sensor (similar to PlexiDrone's front facing ultrasonic sensor). This means that PlexiDrone can automatically hold position indoors or outdoors, even when GPS is not available. This feature also works in low light conditions.
PlexiDrone has superior low altitude hold thanks to its high grade bottom facing ultrasonic sensor. The combination optical flow + ultrasonic sensor helps PlexiDrone steadily hold altitude for the first 9.7m / 32ft of altitude gained. This means PlexiDrone also has excellent altitude hold flying indoors or in GPS denied environments. At altitudes higher than 9.7m / 32ft, PlexiDrone uses a sensor fusion of barometric pressure and GPS sensors to maintain a solid position and altitude hold.
PlexiDrone uses a Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) enabled GPS module to provide high accuracy, integrity, and availability of GPS navigation modes. The WAAS GPS framework was originally developed to improve GPS accuracy, integrity and availability such that GPS could be used as a sole means of navigation for commercial aircraft and military aircraft during all flight phases (including precision approaches).
PlexiDrone's Basic Features
Learn about PlexiDrone's most basic features straight from one of our lead industrial designers! This segment is focused PlexiDrone's portability and the unmatched power and safety of the PlexiDrone X8 platform.