Science fiction has become reality at the Paris airshow with France's Workfly (Hall 4, C11) exhibiting a prototype of Eyesfly, its bi-rotor unmanned air vehicle (UAV) that resembles a flying saucer.
Designed for civil surveillance and observation missions, the Eyesfly completed its first flight in April and development and refinement is continuing.
"We have an intelligent UAV that can see like us," says Workfly president and general manager Michel Guilhot-Gaudeffroy.
Although designed for civil use, military applications are possible and are being developed by sister company DruMa, of which Guilhot-Gaudeffroy is also the manager.
Renaud Cuny, real-time system engineering, Workfly, explains the Eyesfly concept: "The aim of our product is to go very near people and buildings."
With proximity to people and buildings come safety issues. The development team is currently studying the protection grid that will surround the rotors and it expects to fly the protected version in September. A computer system also provides protection in order to avoid people and buildings.
Meanwhile, stabilisation technology has been completed and will be integrated in the next month and tested in the summer. Eyesfly will be capable of landing on any surface, including water, with the appropriate attachment, says Cuny, and does not require a flat landing surface. It is currently flown using a computer. Workfly is also developing Eyesfly's autonomous capabilities.
Source: Flight Daily News