Think drones have innovated until they can innovate no more? The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) disagrees. The CES Innovation Awards just announced their 2019 winners, and the list includes two drones: Yuneec’s Mantis Q drone and the Industrial Technology Research Institute’s Hybrid Power Drone.
The announcement was made this week during the annual CES Unveiled New York, an invitation-only tech event intended to drop news news and a sneak peek of the products and trends expected at the upcoming CES 2019. CES is a massive trade show held every year in Las Vegas, Nevada.
One of the winners, the Hybrid Power Drone with High Payload and Duration, is made by the Industrial Technology Research Institute, which is an applied research institution based in Taiwan founded in 1973. The team’s octacopter drone can hover up to 45 minutes at 30 kg payload, which is over three times the endurance of a drone powered solely by lithium battery. The drone consists of an optimized carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) fuselage and a hybrid power system including the lightweight aviation internal combustion engine (ICE) and the high power density electric generator and lithium batteries.With a high payload, the drone can carry granular fertilizers, proving its capabilities as an advanced agricultural drone for plant protection. ITRI also claims the drone can act as a robust delivery service and be used for long range infrastructure inspections.
The other winner may be more familiar to the drone community: Yuneec’s Mantis Q drone. Though the Mantis resembles rival DJI’s Mavic in design, it’s actually rather unique. The Yuneec Mantis Q drone is the first mass market drone with voice control that allows user power on, take a photo or begin recording video all without having to manually take their hands off of the controls.
CES returns to Las Vegas January 8-11, 2019 and is expected to host 4,500 exhibitors across 2.75 million net square feet of exhibit space related to not just drones, but topics including 5G connectivity, artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, smart home, smart cities, sports tech, machine learning and more.