Content ID

198255

Drone Charging Station

While a drone can fly autonomously, an operator is still needed to swap and charge batteries. With the introduction of its charging station, Skysense hopes to ready a new wave of long-term applications. 

“Skysense is enabling drone deployments with minimal human intervention through automatic charging and deployment-oriented software services,” says Andrea Pulatti, CEO of Skysense, Inc.

The charging station is a direct-contact technology that charges batteries with up to a 10-amp current as fast as a conventional battery charger. Once in place, it can act as a stand-alone pad or as part of an automated shelter. This allows the drone to start recharging the moment it touches down or to wait for its next assignment while its battery is kept at 100%.

The pad then becomes the operator in the field, and it’s accessible online using the company’s proprietary cloud system. It acts as an interconnected node of Skysense’s Drone Charging Infrastructure, either streaming video and sensor information or downloading it when the drone lands. The online dashboard and APIs not only provide remote access to these feeds but also show the health of the fleet and allow updates of flight plans by integrating with third-party software.

Although there are other options in development or on the market that achieve some of what Skysense offers, Pulatti says they have a number of shortcomings.

“If keeping downtime to an absolute minimum is vital, battery-swapping stations are being prototyped that can swap in a precharged pack,” he says. “However, this speed is achieved by sacrificing reliability, as they are mechanical devices with lots of moving parts.”

The other main alternative, Pulatti points out, is induction charging. “However, it suffers from heating problems, requires a heavy coil that reduces flight time, is much slower to charge, and is less energy efficient,” he says. “Skysense’s technology is aimed at offering a proven, superior, and scalable alternative.”  

The Skysense Charging Station starts at around $2,500. To learn more, visit skysense.co.

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