Robots at CES 2018: UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles)

At CES there were lots of UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), also known as drones or Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA). However, I didn’t see any AAVs (Autonomous Aerial Vehicles). Two key areas that will require further technology development are: longer-life batteries and autonomy systems.

ETRI (Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute)

They were showing a huge x8 multi-rotor platform designed for remote-sensing applications.

Fig. 1:

Volt Spider by Safeus Drone

They were showing a prototype of their UAV for inspection of high-voltage power transmission lines.
Apparently it can land on the cable and grasp it. It also has inductive charging.

Fig. 2:
The Safeus booth.

Fig. 3:
Close-up of the grasping mechanism.

CX-180 Reveal ONE by TTRobotix (Thunder Technology Co. Ltd)

An unmanned, electrically-powered helicopter with a payload for thermal imaging and detecting human vital signs.

Fig. 4:

SurV by Radii Robotics

This is advertised as an indoor, autonomous security drone.
What’s interesting is that it looks like a UAV with a big TV screen.

Fig. 5:

Fig. 6:

Radii Robotics

360Fusion by Leti (CEA Tech)

This research institute was demonstrating their anti-collision software for drones, by flying a little micro UAV inside a dome.
It looks like the small drone has 6 proximity sensors facing in 6 different directions.

Fig. 7:
The dome at CES.

Interview and demo.

CEA Leti

SolarDrone by National Taiwan University

They were showing videos of their solar-powered quadcopter.

Fig. 8:

Flying Screen by Arquimea

They have developed a light-weight, LED based screen that can be used outdoors and potentially attached below a drone.
At their booth they showed a screen consisting of 3 vertical sections, hung side-by-side.

Another company, NTT Docomo recently announced they have developed a spherical flying screen:

Fig. 9:

Drone Interactive

They are developing drone-based, interactive games for amusement centers.

Fig. 10:


Apparently this is the “first autonomous drone for warehouses”.
It reminds me of the Parrot drone, but it’s designed for inventory checking in warehouses.

Fig. 11:


They were showing two UAVs designed for industrial or agricultural purposes.
The “YMR-01” is electrical and has 8 rotors. It’s design is something between a hexacopter and an x6.
The “FAZER R” is a gasoline (petrol) powered helicopter.

Fig. 12:
Signage for their drone display.

Fig. 13:

Fig. 14:
Fazer R

Fig. 15:
Fazer R

D-02 by XDynamics

They were demonstrating their D-02 x8 multi-rotor, designed for professional cinematography or industrial purposes.

Fig. 16:
The XDynamics booth.

Fig. 17:
Close-up of the D-02 drone.

Fig. 18:
Demo area.

Skeyetech – Azure Drones

They had on display a quadcopter painted in camouflage, designed for surveillance purposes.

Fig. 19:

UpAir by SGI (Shenzhen Gten Innovation) Technology Co. Ltd

SGI were showing their UpAir photography drone, which looks quite similar to DJI’s Phantom drone.

The following website has a comparison between the SGI UpAir and DJI Phantom:

Fig. 20:

Autel Robotics

An orange-colored photography drone that looks similar to the DJI Phantom.

Fig. 21:

Wingsland (Shenzhen Wingsland Technology Co. Ltd)

This company sells various orange-colored drones. Their “Minivet” is similar to the DJI Phantom.

Fig. 22:

The Wingsland booth.

Fig. 23:
The Minivet (left/right)
and K3 (center)

Fig. 24:
Minivet drone.

Fig. 25:
K3 drone.


The “H520” is an orange-colored drone for industrial purposes.
The “Typhoon H Plus” is a hexacopter designed for professional photography. They had a custom Typhoon fitted with some “Rugo” spotlights, by Foxfury Lighting Solutions (Fig. 28).

Fig. 26:
The Yuneec booth.

Fig. 27:
H520 drone.

Fig. 28:
A customized Typhoon drone.

Falcon 8+ by Intel

This octocopter has a no-nonsense design with the rotors arranged in two rows. It can carry imaging payloads like a full-size SLR camera.

Fig. 29:

Hercules 10 by DroneVolt

This company has various products, such as a tethered quadcopter for surveillance.
The “Hercules 10” is a x8 multi-rotor with a high-pressure sprayer for agricultural purposes.

Fig. 30:
The Hercules-10 high-pressure
spraying drone (right).

DJI (Da-Jiang Innovations Science and Technology Co. Ltd)

One of the most well-known companies in low-cost drones.

Fig. 31:


Their “Altura Zenith” is a x8 multi-rotor designed for industrial inspection.
The “Pensar” imaging payload combines a Sony HD camera with 30x zoom, FLIR Boson thermal camera, NVidia Jetson GPU, OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and object recognition using deep learning.

Fig. 32:


They are working on an electric multi-rotor designed as a personal transportation device.
So far they have demonstrated vertical take-off and hover (with human passenger), and a pilot-less takeoff and short flight.

Fig. 33: