There are lots of indoor applications possible for drones, varying from carrying out inspections in hard-to-reach areas to finding individuals in need. The problem is that the propellers are dangerous to people and much better not enter into contact with walls or other obstacles either. That’s why the propellers of the brand-new Dronut X1 are fully shielded. As an outcome, the drone is 100% safe for indoor usage.

Bi-rotor ducted drone

The Dronut X1 was developed by Canadian company Cleo Robotics. It is a so-called bi-rotor ducted drone, with two totally shielded props that offer the drive. This makes the drone 100% safe to utilize in enclosed spaces and in close distance to individuals.

The creators of Cleo Robotics initially worked in the oil and gas industry. As a result, they knew how hard and dangerous inspecting enclosed spaces can be. That led to the style of the Dronut. A very first version of the drone was launched in 2020, and was planned for military applications. After that, the idea occurred to make the drone ideal for civil usage. That caused the Dronut X1.

4K camera and 3D positioning

The Dronut X1 weighs just 425 grams and is small enough to fit in your palm. However, the drone provides a 4K video camera with live streaming capabilities. For positioning and navigation, the drone utilizes 3D LiDAR, where laser beams are directed in all instructions and the reflection determines how the surrounding area looks like.

Depending on the situations, the Wi-Fi connection has a variety of approx. 1 km. The flight time is approx. 12 minutes. The operation is by means of an Android app. According to Cleo Robotics, thanks to the advanced sensing units, the drone can even be used in low-light spaces, and even totally in the dark. Thanks to the built-in LED lighting, the drone can still capture images. This brings with it the needed possibilities in the field of enforcement, search & rescue and examinations.

Price and availability

The drone is not low-cost: the device has a price tag of 9,800 dollars. The drone can only be bought by means of the Cleo Robotics site. The developers stress that the drone is ‘Made in the USA’ and NDAA compliant.

If the design of the Dronut X1 looks familiar to you, that may be true: at TU Eindhoven, under the name Blue Jay, an indoor ducted drone has actually been playing with for many years. It was first presented in 2015, as a flying robot butler. After that, the students showed how such a drone might assist with home fires and evacuations.