Swiss company senseFly has joined forces with Drone Adventures to autonomously create a 3-D map of Matterhorn mountain. A fleet of eBee drones mapped the 17-mile area along the border of Switzerland and Italy in less than a day.
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Equipped with an onboard high-resolution camera, eBee drones can be launched by hand and have a flight time of up to 45 minutes. Prior to launch, GPS coordinates can be outlined in Google Maps. Flight planning software helps the drone steer clear of natural obstacles like mountains and trees. Once the the eBee has run its plotted course and gently glides back to the ground, it can be plugged into a computer to obtain the map.
After one eBee was thrown off the 14,692 foot summit of Matterhorn, five more drones mapped the lower sections of the mountain. The system allows for use of up to ten drones at once, all of which can be controlled from a single base station.
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To tag along on the trek and see the final 3-D rendering of Matterhorn, check out this video of the drone-chucking adventure. Until next time, start coming up with your own list of other peaks you'd like to see eBees thrown from and give senseFly a shout, or better yet, a yodel.
via IEEE Spectrum