Exyn Technologies is the first company in the world to achieve this level of sophistication with its automatic flying machines, which can be used for military as well as industrial applications.
This week, Exyn Technologies was proud to announce that its autonomous drones have achieved the highest level of self-driving quality ever. The system, which the company describes as 4A capable, no longer requires human guidance, nor does it need to rely on GPS signals to fly, as all spatial and mapping calculations are done inside the drone.
The manufacturer has transposed the autonomy scale, often talked about in self-driving cars, to the world of drones. Level zero represents a machine that is incapable of any kind of autonomy, while the final category, category five, which is still only a dream, represents a super drone that can operate in all circumstances and make its own decisions.
The move from level three to level four is a big leap forward, as the previous system required a human supervisor to determine the main points of the flight and to intervene in navigation if necessary. This meant that the aircraft could not be deployed in places where the link between the controller and the drone could not be established (e.g. in an extensive cave system or mine).
Thanks to the LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensors installed, the drone can use laser beams to detect its surroundings and identify spaces where it can move unhindered. As it travels, it produces an accurate, high-resolution, three-dimensional map of the area it is travelling over. Depending on its intended use, additional sensors can be added to the machine for more extensive data collection (temperature, humidity, radiation level, etc.).
Currently, the company’s customers are mostly mining companies. The latter hope that the new development will enable them to obtain accurate information about uncharted areas deep below the surface of the earth, often with unpredictable conditions, without endangering the safety of their staff.
At the same time, the drones have also attracted interest from the government side, as the system appears to be particularly suited to intelligence gathering and reconnaissance missions, which could be useful for both the military and the intelligence services. Another, more peaceful, use could be in mapping the sites of natural disasters, major accidents, and the search for survivors.
Further development plans for drones, which can currently travel at speeds of around 2 metres per second, include the integration of teamwork. When the level of autonomy, called 4B, is reached, the devices will be able to be deployed in swarms, where teams can communicate with each other.