World’s First Bi-Rotor Ducted Drone Looks Like a Flying Donut Made for GPS-Denied Areas

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The Dronut X1 by Cleo Robotics is not your average drone. It doesn’t look like one, and it doesn’t use the same flying technology either. Its developer describes it as the world’s first bi-rotor ducted drone, being able to fly where no other such aircraft has flown before.

With a compact design that makes it fit in your palm, this weird-looking flying device was designed to be used indoors and it doesn’t have those exposed propellers we normally see in a drone. This ducted fan design allows you to fly the drone near people, making it safe to touch or operate around sensitive equipment.

The Dronut X1 weighs only 15 oz (425 grams) and measures 6.5” x 4” (16.5 x 10 cm). It uses Cleo’s patented thrust vectoring technology and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. Its small dimensions and the fact that it comes with sophisticated sensors make it suitable for applications in challenging environments such as tight spaces, spaces with low light or no light at all.

Cleo equipped the Dronut with a 3D LiDAR, a 4K camera, a global shutter camera for precise positioning, advanced algorithms, and LED headlights, making the UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) reliable in GPS-denied areas. It has great autonomous capabilities and can accurately detect and avoid obstacles. The drone can be remotely controlled via an Android phone.

As for the battery of the Dronut X1, this flying donut packs a rechargeable battery that offers a flight time of 12 minutes. 40 minutes are necessary for the drone to be fully charged.

The Dronut X1 UAV is designed and made in the U.S., and Cleo Robotics says it’s the best drone for applications such as unmanned inspections of dangerous and confined spaces.

All these advanced features of the drone don’t come cheap, though, with the Dronut X1 being available to order at a price of $9,800.