Malmö based company Bitcraze is launching its unique positioning system for mini drones. The new system has already interested such giants of technology as Microsoft, NASA and Ericsson. It took five years and five developers from Bitcraze in cooperation with the enthusiasts from all over the world to develop their mini drone Crazyflie and Loco Positioning System.
What is it all about?
Crazyflie is a small drone that looks like a toy and weights just 27 grams. In contrast to the standard drones, Crazyflie does not have a camera and is supposed mostly for indoor flying. The platform of this mini-drone is more complex and flexible compared to the one used in the standard drones. The idea behind Crazyflie is that it is multifunctional, which means that users may add different accessories and sensors and thus use the drone for various purposes. For example, by adding infrared camera one can look for burglars or missing people, gas sensors might be of help to detect accidents.
“We wanted to create an open source platform that would be fun to use, as well as give the users the possibility to work on and experiment with a wide range of features and areas.”
Another distinguishing feature of Crazyflie is that it is operated by a specially designed Loco Positioning system. Since Crazyflie is designed for flying indoors, where GPS signals are not of a big help, the company developed Loco Positioning System. This is a unique technology that uses radio waves to operate the drone. The new positioning system also supposes that the drone can be preprogrammed to operate independently and synchronously with other mini-drones. Tests show that up to 49 drones can be preprogrammed to maneuver in one synchronized “swarm”.
Who has developed this project?
Bitcraze is a young but very promising start-up. According to Tobias Antonsson, the cofounder of the company:
“Bitcraze is a world leader in so-called autonomous flight.”
Despite being a small start-up, the company already has its own motto, which is “to do good”. In this connection, the strategy of a promising start-up is to stay away from any military organization.
When it comes to the future plans, Tobias Antonsson is very optimistic. He is certain that within a year the company’s projects will start brining profits. Also Tobias Antonsson is confident that new harsher rules on flight drones that Swedesh government is planning to impose, will not affect the company’s projects as Crazyflies are not drones in traditional sense. Instead they are more of a moving platform that might be used million different ways.
Bitcraze is targeting its projects is mostly on universities, industrial research organizations. Such well-known corporations, as NASA, Microsoft, Ericsson already showed their interest in new technology.