Elios drone from Flyability

Inspect and explore indoor and confined spaces
Discover the first collision-tolerant drone, designed for the inspection and exploration of the most inaccessible places. Allowing for the first time to fly in complex, cluttered or indoor spaces, Elios unleashes the potential of UAVs in numerous applications where their use was previously too dangerous or simply impossible.

Inspired by the ability of insects to keep their stability after an in-flight collision, the flight concept of Elios is the result of hundreds of millions of years of natural evolution. Using a unique and pragmatic approach, Elios solves the biggest challenges of flying drones indoor in complex and confined spaces or in contact with humans: the risk of collisions and injuries. Privileging tolerance to collisions over the attempt to sense and avoid obstacles, Elios provides the level of reliability that is expected by professionals operating in environments where failure to operate is not an option.




By enabling remote visual inspection in any
indoor environments, Elios prevents the need
for workers to enter hazardous places or face
dangerous situations.


Elios is deployed and ready to gather
visuals within a minute. Performing an entire
inspection is no longer a matter of days but


Scaffolding, rope access, or crane are no
longer needed to perform visual inspections.
Elios gathers visuals of the most complex and
cluttered spaces for you.






Carrying its own protective frame, Elios is collision-tolerant. This means you can access the tightest spaces without any risk of crashing. No need to focus on avoiding obstacles, Elios bounces off and roll on them to find its way. You can fly close or even in direct contact with humans without any risks of injuries.




Elios’ protective frame is made up of carbon fiber covered with a soft coating. It can sustain collisions, evenly, all around the drone at a speed reaching up to 4 m/s.


Built with modular subcomponents it eases the maintenance process and offers openings large enough to fit one’s hand and access the battery container or SD card compartments.



Spherical, the protective frame comes in one size only. With a diameter just below 400 mm, it is slightly smaller than the smallest standard manhole.





When flying in contact with a surface, Elios can gather close-up images with a sub-millimeter resolution of 0.2 mm/px. The camera video stream is recorded on board, on an SD card housed in the payload head. It is also streamed to the pilot at a lower resolution. The Full HD camera offers a resolution of 1920 x 1080 at 30 frames per second and performs well in low light. Automatically corrected by default, the Exposure Value (EV) of the captured images can also be remotely adjusted, from the ground station.


Seeing beyond what a human can see may be crucial in many cases. Detecting a crack that is invisible can help to anticipate potential major degradations. Detecting a body in very poor lighting conditions can simply save lives. Elios embeds an uncooled FLIR camera core with a resolution of 160 x 120 pixels at 9 frames per second.


Mounted on a rotatable head the cameras can capture images looking above and below the drone. The full HD camera offers a total field of view of 215º and a horizontal field of view of 130º while the thermal camera offers a total vertical field of view of 42º and a horizontal field of view of 56º.


When inspecting and exploring pitch dark environments the onboard LED lighting system becomes very useful. Preventing the need for any additional external lighting, it lights up the scene in all the directions you may be looking. The intensity of the 5 arrays of high-efficiency LEDs providing even lighting in front, top, and bottom of the robot, can be adjusted remotely using the ground station. When changing the pitch angle of the camera head, the light beam is adapted, always providing the right lighting.



The wireless communication system offers a robust digital, bidirectional, long range signal transmission which includes a video and data downlink, from the UAV to the Ground Station, and command uplink, from the Ground Station to the UAV. Using the 2.4 GHz frequency band, the wireless communication system does not require any special authorization to operate and preserve its high-quality even in the most complex and confined spaces. For example, it is possible to fly Elios over 100 meters above the ground in a closed boiler with the pilot safely standing outside next the entrance manhole.
Since every use case has its own specificities, we have put together a table representing standard use cases and the signal coverage to expect.



Elios Ground Station is composed of a remote controller, a tablet and a purpose designed ground control application providing the pilot with live telemetry data, an SD live video stream captured by Elios, and the information and controls that you need to operate it efficiently and safely. In addition to giving you full control over the navigation of the drone, the different buttons of the remote controller let you adjust, in real-time, all the settings of the camera head such as exposure, lighting and pitch angle.

In addition to displaying the live SD stream received from the drone, Elios Cockpit displays live telemetry data, gives you access to a detailed status of your drone and let you adjust settings right from the application.



As it applies to all new technologies, integrating drones into your workflow requires driving changes. However, it is important that these changes have a minimal impact on your own schedule and comply with the singular aspects of your profession.

We made Elios dust and splash resistant, operational in environments between 0° and 50°C, and mistake tolerant so that it can be easily piloted by everyone. Operational after a few hours of training, your personnel will quickly get up to speed with their piloting skills. Designed to fly indoors where few or no drone regulations apply, Elios will be smoothly integrated into your workflow.




A typical drone-based inspection usually starts with a reconnaissance flight which allows finding all the areas of interest deserving a closer look. The experience gathered through missions in boilers, storage tanks, ballast tanks, buildings, chimneys and so on, shows that 10 minutes is sufficient for most infrastructures to perform this reconnaissance flight. Based on the information gathered during the reconnaissance flight, further flights are planned to more deeply inspect defined points of interest through the capture of close up images. Bringing the drone back to the operators after each segment of the inspection allows for reviewing the images in details and refine/update the inspection plan on-the-go based on actual data.
After each flight, batteries are swapped in seconds. Just remove the used one, insert a new one and you are back to flying again.



Once you’re done flying, you can exploit the data recorded on the SD card, embedded on Elios, right away. No post processing or specific software is required. To avoid hurdles, we are using simple video files that can be read i.e. on the tablet of the Ground Station. Flight data, thermal video and selected Points Of Interest (POI) are recorded on a dedicated SD card. By using Flyability Inspector, you can correlate flight data and POIs with both video streams.




Using Flyability Inspector, you can review your flights, frame by frame, and benefit, on top of the image, from the precious flight information recorded on the log SD card.
You can recover the Points Of Interest (POI) marked during a flight, and only extract the still images of interest for your mission.
Recorded as well on the log SD card, the video stream recorded with the thermal sensor is displayed as an overlay of the Full HD video stream, providing you with additional information.


To see more videos about Elios from Flyability click here.