The Swiss startup Flybotix has unveiled the first model of its bicopter with a coaxial propeller pattern. Its developer is Samir Bouabdallah, a drone designer from ETH Zurich. The engineer managed to find a simple and effective solution to the problem of all small propeller-driven UAVs.
The smaller the propeller blade span, the lower the lift, which is why tiny commercial quadcopters can stay in the air for a very limited time. Add the weight of the batteries themselves and you get terrible efficiency. Bouabdallah decided to keep only two propellers, but to make them larger, and so that the machine does not lose stability, to arrange the propellers in a coaxial pattern, like in the Kamov helicopters. Only in this case, each screw works individually, they have only a common attachment point in the center of the structure.
Bouabdallah housed the propellers, battery compartment and control box in a robust cylinder-shaped case. Thus, both the propellers and the apparatus itself are protected from impacts and collisions, and the air flows follow known trajectories. By changing the angles of inclination of the propellers and the speed of rotation, you can move the UAV in space. Let the flight speed be lower than that of a quadcopter, but the bicopter is not inferior to it in the accuracy of maneuvers. At the same time, it consumes half the energy to operate its two motors, which significantly increases the flight time without recharging.
Flybotix is not the first to come up with such a design; the Canadian company Cleo Robotics can be recalled as its closest competitors. The question is, rather, who will be the first to release a commercial version and start conquering the market. A slow-moving yet impact-resistant bicopter ideal for inspections of branched spaces inside hazardous industrial facilities. And the optimization of energy consumption allows you to install more useful equipment on it.