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Israeli pilotless chopper takes to the sky

The Steadicopter

Israel is known for its unmanned aircrafts and recently also its unmanned vehicles. A little less known is the attempt to develop an unmanned mini-helicopter that has been going on over the past seven years and has only recently become commercially available.

Developing an unmanned helicopter is a complex task; the main problems are maintaining the craft stable even in rough weather conditions and creating a simple interface for controlling the helicopter that will not require a long training period. Although pilotless helicopters have been in development for the last several years in the U.S. and around the world, the craft developed by the Israeli company Steadicopter is the cheapest, simplest and most versatile of its kind. The unique craft uses GPS, gyroscopes and various other "off-the-shelf" instrumentation to guide and control the helicopter. The craft can come in a variety of configurations that can fit military and security applications such as: mine detection, stealth scouting, border patrol and police surveillance, as well as civilian applications such as high voltage line inspection, media coverage and agriculture purposes.

The Steadicopter craft is small - approximately 17 pounds (8kg), 59 inches in length (1.5m) and can be easily controlled by a laptop up to a range of about 3 miles (5km). It has a unique system that overcomes stabilization and flight control problems using an algorithm that was developed by Tuvia Segal, Steadicopter CEO. The chopper can stay in the air for 90 minutes (even more with an extra fuel tank), navigate using pre-defined GPS coordinates and relay information back using day and night (thermal) cameras.

The control panel
The Steadicopter

 







 

Iddo Genuth

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