Thursday, July 18, 2024

New Zoe Zetona commercial drone puts the payload up front

Acecore Technologies, the company behind last year’s heavy lifting Acecore Zoe hexacopter, has introduced a new commercial unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV): the Zoe Zetona. The all-new Zoe Zetona enables operators to inspect various assets and perform land surveying missions without obstructions.

Designed for field surveying flights, the Zoe Zetona positions its camera payload up front instead of hanging it below like other drone designs. The new system comes with a unique 2-axis Gremsy gimbal that gives operators an unobstructed view from top to bottom, or zenith to nadir, which is where it gets its name from. This configuration gives operators the ability to tilt the gimbal from 90 degrees upwards to 90 degrees downwards without the drone’s frame obstructing the camera’s view. Though highly portable, the system is capable of stabilizing and controlling the front-mounted camera to eliminate vibrations in the images.

New Zoe Zetona commercial drone puts the payload up front.
Zoe Zetona positions it camera payload up front, instead of hanging it below. Credit: Acecore Technologies

Zoe Zetona is optimized to work with a limited number of high-end sensors, such as the 60-megapixel Sony A7r IV full-frame mirrorless camera. The drone’s F9P, L1/ L2 RTK precision positioning works with four or eight rotors to hold the system at a nearly completely still position in the air when it performs high-risk inspections.

The quadcopter configuration is capable of handling any obstacle, while the eight engine configuration increases flight performance, stability, and overall safety. The drone supports a solo or dual operators.

Zoe Zetona has a flight time of 26 minutes per charge and can be flown in all weather conditions. Thanks to its rigid carbon fiber frame, the drone can haul up to 2.2 kg of payload and withstand continuous wind speeds of 25 knots (46 km/h). Other features include LiDAR obstacle avoidance, an encrypted radio link with a datalink range of 16 km (9.9 miles), and an ADS-B transponder.

One of the biggest technical challenges we faced was giving the secondary camera operator control over the drone’s yaw movement to adjust the live camera view when inspecting an asset. In the end, we achieved this while ensuring the pilot in command remains in override control over the drone’s movements to guarantee a safe operation,” said Jorrit Linders, founder, and CEO of Acecore.

Acecore Technologies is currently prototyping the Zetona Backpack for transporting the drone. The Zoe Zetona is available now to commercial operators, with pricing available on request.