Imagine that you puncture the car and you are left on the road without a spare wheel in a remote place. The support services could take hours to arrive, but the Spanish company Quaternium has an idea to solve that situation: take you a wheel in minutes thanks to its Hybrix 2.1 drone.
This type of helicopter is a model with a hybrid propulsion system that uses both gasoline and an electric battery, and that allows its performance to be well above electric drones. Among other things, it can stay in flight for four hours, reach 80 km / h speed and carry a payload of up to 10 kg.
From taking a wheel with a flat tire to executing surveillance and rescue missions
Those responsible for Quaternium Technologies put the example of roadside assistance as one of the clear use cases of these drones, which could serve for this type of scenario when transporting certain objects.
However, the Hybrix 2.1 is a drone that is designed for many more areas, from surveillance to the inspection of structures or, for example, to fields such as mining or agriculture, where this type of drone maximizes everything that the drones with electric batteries could already do, but with more limited features.
This hybrid propulsion system makes the Hybrix 2.1 capable of having a range of more than two hours without problems, coping with adverse flight conditions and reaching 4 hours in optimal conditions. In fact they set the world record in February 2020 with a total autonomy of 8 hours and 10 minutes in a controlled test.
The “ground control station” from which the drone operates allows the entire flight plan to be managed, and may even include a second transmitter for video reception.
This station is combined with the mission planner, a software with which you can establish waypoints with GPS coordinates and heights to which we can also associate certain events, such as taking photos and video. The Open Source Flight Controller tool, based on Ardupilot, is also used on this platform, and it is compatible with a large number of accessories for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
All these features make this quadcopter a unique alternative for various types of missions – Quaternium’s YouTube channel makes it clear – that conventional electric drones cannot cover with so many guarantees. The project has been developed in part thanks to the investment of the Horizon 2020 program of the European Union.