Autonomous Control Systems Laboratory Ltd. (ACSL) has developed the MINISURVEYOR autonomous aerial drone for use in logistics, aerial photography, and disaster investigation, and has created the MINISURVEYOR Consortium to cover sales & marketing, maintenance and other services to fully represent the spirit of the first “Made in Japan” drone.
ACSL and the MINISURVEYOR product
After extensive research experience over the course of twenty years, ACSL have developed the MS-06LA MINISURVEYOR fully autonomous aerial flying robot, or drone. The 101cm diameter, 3 kg drone has a maximum additional payload of 6 kg, a flight time of 10-30 minutes, and features several payload options and mission profiles.
Application cases include factory, tunnel, and infrastructure inspection, radiation monitoring and disaster investigation, agricultural hyperspectral observation, crop-spraying, aerial photography and videography.
Besides offering immediate solutions to the construction, surveying, industrial and agricultural industries, the ACSL and MINISURVEYOR Consortium also is looking ahead to develop new technologies through collaborative research and development to predict their customers’ future needs and to be first to market with novel, versatile solutions.
Utilization of Xsens Sensors
The MS-06LA uses an Xsens MTi-30 to provide fast and accurate attitude and movement data for flight controls and as the enabling sensor data for all-new innovative technologies. The MINISURVEYOR’s in-house developed Autopilot Flight Controller (APFC) uses the MTi-30’s 9-axis sensor system (3-axis gyro sensor, 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis magnetometer) as the cornerstone of its stabilization and guidance systems. The capabilities of the APFC allow the autonomous drone to also be a research platform for many advanced new technologies.
Flying in locations with no GPS using SLAM
ACSL has developed methods to fly accurately without GPS guidance. One method used is Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) methods. Using inertial sensors and 3D sensors, the MINISURVEYOR can keep away from obstacles automatically while generating a high quality 3D map of its surroundings.
Automatic battery-changing system
ACSL has also developed the world’s first automatic battery-charging system for drones, enabling a drone to be used for an extended period of time without human intervention.
Fault Tolerant Control
The MINISURVEYOR drone has 6 propellers but research work into a loss of propeller will allow the drone to maintain its balance using only the five remaining propellers and return to base.
Relying on proven and high performing sensors such as the Xsens MTi will enable the development of such novel and fault tolerance features and enable drones to be used with confidence and safety in the years to come.