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Future Tech: 

Gimball is the crash-proof drone that could save lives

gimball-drone-collision-proof-disaster-2

Gimbal may be clumsy, but it goes where other drones can’t

Having applauded the creator of a perfect replica Millennium Falcon drone last week, who’s ready to see some more UAV-powered heroics? Only it’s not just the Death Star that this one could save us from, but real-life disasters closer to home.

Gimball is a collision-proof drone that can be used to scan disaster sites for casualties, capable of reaching areas that might be unsafe for rescue teams. The two-rotor drone is sheltered by a ball-like carbon fibre cage, meaning it can tumble along the ground without getting damaged, or take-off and scan the wreckage from up high. The collapsible frame takes the impact of anything it might bump into, allowing the controller to be as clumsy as they like and keep the drone in one-piece.

It’s a concept so simple that it’s hard to believe it wasn’t thought of earlier, and Swiss designers Flyability will be glad to have got there first having just won the UAE Drones for Good Award and received $1 million in prize money,

Gimbal GIF via Wired

According to Wired, Flyability plans to use the money to continue developing Gimball, hoping to add a dedicated interface for search and rescue teams, as well as the functionality to detect chemical leaks and assess damaged buildings.

Gimball is not the first drone to claim crash-proof credentials, there’s also the smartphone-controlled Carbon Flyer, which is said to be able to withstand a head-on collision with a brick wall. It doesn’t have the same 360-degree protection as Gimball, though, and it’s aimed at consumers rather than disaster response.

Watch the drone in action and hear from Flyability CEO Patrick Thévoz below;

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