The 2022 Commercial UAV Expo is in full swing, with exhibitors from all areas of the industry showing off plenty of the newest and most innovative advancements in the UAV space. One of these companies is Tundra Drone, who are in booth 550 on the exhibit floor at Las Vegas' Caesars Forum. The Norway-based manufacturer's CEO Tor Erik Somby was kind enough to take a few minutes to talk with Commercial UAV News about their patented auto-moving light payload.
Being based in the Arctic Circle in Norway, Tundra Drone is plenty familiar with darkness and the limitations it can pose. Particularly for public safety use cases, officials typically have to wait until the morning in order to get a clear picture of the scene, especially for a scene in which they would prefer to send in an uncrewed drone first rather than send a human to a potentially dangerous situation.
With Tundra Drone's auto-moving light, those concerns can go away. Currently compatible with the DJI Mavic 3, Mavic 2 and Mini 2 - though the company is working on compatibility with more manufacturers in the future - the company has been working for "three years now with the development of the world's first auto-moving drone light." The "10,000 lumen dome light follows the camera so it gets optimal illumination in every field of view." Somby also explained the technology's use of computer visio, which analyzes the angle of the drone to ensure the light is matching the camera's field of vision.
As far as the company's customer base, they serve a wide variety of users, from the aforementioned public safety sector all the way to photography, but Somby gives one particularly interesting example in the world of utility work. If a storm knocks out a powerline at night, it can be difficult to find the area that needs repair in the darkness as helicopters have limitations to night flying, and if the storm is ongoing it can be a risk to send a human there. Sending a drone eliminates that risk, and the auto-moving light can make it much simpler to remotely locate the problem, allowing for a quicker repair in the morning with the problem spot already in sight.
That's just one of many use cases for Tundra Drone's technology, which can be a game-changer for night-time drone missions.