Hardware

Flight Controller for VTOL UAVs

Posted 1 Jul 2003 at 22:19 UTC by steve Share This

Rotomotion has announced an autonomous flight controller designed for small vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) unmanned aircraft. This is essentially a black box that will turn an R/C helicopter into a UAV for a fraction of the what the military pays for stuff like this. Rotomotion also makes a line of low cost inertial measurement kits ideal for homebrew UAVs or balancing robots like nBot.

Here's the full text of Rotomotion's Press Release:

07/2003 Rotomotion Offers Flight Controller for VTOL UAVs

Series production of semi and fully autonomous flight controllers designed for small vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) unmanned aircraft begins on 1 August at RotomotionÆs Mt. Pleasant, SC facility.

The flight control system (FCS) allows for autonomous flight operations. Utilizing a laptop computer and Rotomotion-developed software, the FCS generates a grid of GPS waypoints that ground controllers upload to a rotary unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

"Having completed development and testing, we are now ready to make our system available to the hobby, industrial and military markets," says Dennis B. D'Annunzio, chief operating officer of the small firm.

Rotomotion says its FCS is priced "substantially below" those offered by competitors. A kit is available to retrofit radio-controlled model aircraft class UAVs. The device can also be factory-installed on a variety of new UAVs and delivered to the customer "ready to fly". Rotomotion will sell system components separately.

Each FCS costs $5,500. Rotomotion will install the kit in a customerÆs rotary aircraft for an additional fee. A turnkey system costs $15,000 and includes an aircraft, ground station, radio and all other required components. Operator training is included in the price, and a deposit of $2,500 to $5,000 is required to reserve a unit.

The new firm expects to offer a similar flight controller for fixed-wing UAVs in the near term. D'Annunzio says Rotomotion's product line may eventually also include a VTOL UAV.

For further information contact Dennis B. D'Annunzio (dbd@rotomotion.com) at (843) 209-6941. See Rotomotion's web site at http://www.rotomotion.com/

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