Much like last year, there were a ton of drones on display at the 2015 International CES. And, again, much like last year, Parrot is leading the way. While Parrot does have a bunch of different quad-copter type drones, which are far and away their most popular, it was a different type of drone that caught our eye. Take a look at the eBee drone:
One thing about the eBee jumps out immediately. The eBee drone drops the popular quad-copter design, in favor of a more traditional plane-like design. There is good reason for this. The eBee is not you standard consumer-focused drone. Rather, the eBee is aimed at heavy industry; industries like large-scale agriculture, mining, construction, land management, surveying and mapping. As such, the eBee is not actively controlled by a pilot. Instead, the drone uses a robust software platform to construct an follow flight plans:
Import your preferred base map and define the area you want to cover. Then specify your required ground resolution, with a maximum GSD of 1.5 cm, and image overlap.
eMotion automatically generates a full flight plan, calculating the eBee’s required altitude and displaying its projected trajectory.
Flying over uneven terrain? Use eMotion’s 3D mission planning feature to take elevation data into account when setting the altitude of waypoints and the resulting flight lines – improving ground resolution and increasing safety.1
The images and data that the eBee collects are then easily converted into incredibly detailed maps and photos. Here are a couple examples:
You too can have your own eBee drone for the cost of around $25,000.