A new tethered drone system from Volarious enables DJI drones for boats. The system allows a commercial off-the-shelf, Mavic 2 drone to autonomously take off, follow, and land safely on small vessels – a critical expansion of functionality for public safety teams already using the V-line tethered system for Mavic 2 on land.
Volarious is a development company focused on expanding the capabilities of commercial off-the-shelf DJI drones. V-line Boat Mode is their latest offering, facilitating coastline surveillance and search and rescue operations with only a 1.2 meter square landing pad and the Volarious app.
“With one click of the button, the drone will take off and follow the vessel, allowing surveillance from a high angle. This allows a small patrol boat to efficiently observe its surroundings as well as much taller vessels. The V-Line system works especially well when paired with the new Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced. The high-resolution thermal camera allows better observation of objects and people at night,” says a press release.
As police and coast guards around the world contend with the challenge of controlling ocean borders, drones offer a critical tool. Drone pilots, however, may struggle to land a drone on a small boat – especially in the often windy environments on the ocean. Some solutions call for a drone to be hand-caught, also challenging and sometimes dangerous to the operator. A failure generally means, at best, a loss of equipment.
“We built V-Line Boat Mode so that the whole process can be fully automated, from taking off to boat following to landing,” said Weiliang, founder of Volarious. This innovation allows users to expand operational capacity in activities like harbour and inland waterways patrol.
The system works even without the V-Line tether kit, allowing drones to be flown close to shore or vessels for detailed observation. During landing, advanced vision algorithms guide the Mavic 2 to accurate land back onto the vessel. It automatically compensates for the drift and rocking motion of the vessel.
“Coupled with 5G connectivity, a low latency live stream from the drone can be sent back to a command centre, allowing for greater situational awareness and information sharing,” says the release.