Dronut: Cylindrical Drone Straight Out of Sci-Fi

The Dronut X1 is the world’s first bi-rotor ducted drone powered by thrust vectoring technology.

It has no exposed propellers and is very compact (it can fit in the palm of a hand, being only 14cm in diameter). It is produced by Boston-based Cleo Robotics, which specializes in unconventional robotic systems.

The drone is able to access spaces other drones can’t navigate, such as confined rooms or very close to people.

In 2020, Cleo Robotics released the first model of the drone, the “Dronut“. This was only sold to law enforcement and the military. The new drone, “Dronut X1” is quieter and has been released for consumer use.

The drone weighs only 425 grams but has:
live-streaming capabilities,
— high-resolution 4K camera, and
— a global shutter sensor.

The drone navigates through 3D LiDAR (light detection and ranging), which utilizes beams of light that hit an object or surface and reflect back to the laser scanner to create a 3D visualization of its environment.

Built from light-weight but strong carbon-fiber composite materials, the Dronut X1 can also be launched by hand and safely come into direct contact with people without risk of bodily harm.

It has a one-km range and can be controlled via an Android phone with little or no training. The sophisticated sensors allow the drone to be used in spaces with low or no light at all. It has a flight time of 12 minutes, takes 40 minutes to recharge the battery, and a maximum forward speed of 4 meters per second.

The Dronut X1 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

The Dronut X1 is designed to be used for unmanned inspection of GPS-denied environments such as tanks, pressure vessels, crawl spaces and more.

The drone costs $9,800 (₦4 million) and can only be ordered on Cleo Robotic’s website. It is commercially available for law enforcement, industrial inspection, construction, and defense industries.

Omar Eleryan and Simon Czarnota founded Cleo Robotics in 2016.

Omar Eleryan, Founder & CEO, Cleo Robotics


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