Flyability redefines UAV operation boundaries and explores the heart of a glacier

Swiss flying robotics company Flyability, winner of the 2015 UAE Drones for Good Award partnered with the mountain rescue team of the Zermatt Glacier in the Swiss Alps to explore crevasses situated at an altitude of 3’500 meters ASL.

These narrow ice caves are inaccessible to all current robotic technologies, and present a huge risk to human rescuers. Flyability has pushed the boundaries of UAVs with their latest drone, as it was able to fly down into the crevasse and back up to return to the surface and captured the most stunning footages of the area, rarely seen by humans.

With its spherical, freely rotating protective cage, the drone remains perfectly stable after contacts, making it completely collision-tolerant and safe to fly close to humans. It was thus capable of easily accessing this extreme environment while being remotely operated by an untrained pilot. The embedded full HD camera, digital live video transmission and the powerful lighting system allowed the drone to operate in the heart of the mountain glacier, tens of meters below the surface.

This successful experience has shed light upon the promising results of using this gamechanging device for mountain Search & Rescue missions, in addition to the current focus of the company in Industrial Inspection of inaccessible and confined environments. The technology has been warmly welcomed by Zermatt rescue professionals as they are constantly developing and refining rescue techniques, which reach the highest efficiency in crevasse fall emergencies, to locate injured parties before dispatching a rescue team in dangerous situations.

Elizabeth Ciobanu

I cover breaking news in the drone industry, interview experts in the field to learn from them for myself, and to help spread the love of drones.

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