Drone News Roundup: Flyability Teases Launch of the Elios 3, Extreme Mountain Biking via FPV Drone, and More!

BY Zacc Dukowitz
5 May 2022

This week we’re covering a teaser Flyability just released for the Elios 3, the newest generation of its caged indoor drone series.

We’re also covering a video of FPV drone pilots capturing the action in a mountain biking race, a kit that can turn any truck bed into a drone station called HexTruck, Zipline’s partnership with Toyota to bring medical drone deliveries to Japan, a website to help people find their stolen drones, and the FAA’s new ASSURE grants of $4.4 million to seven universities for drone research.

Now on to the links!

Flyability Teases Launch of the Elios 3

Something big is coming . . .

A new teaser video from Flyability makes it seem awfully likely the company is getting ready to release a new drone. The company is known for its Elios 2, a collision-tolerant caged drone made to fly inside confined spaces. In quick flashes, we see what looks like a new caged drone—and at around :06 we clearly see the words Elios 3 on its airframe (shown above). According to what we’ve learned, the product will be unveiled in a live launch event at 10 a.m. EST on Thursday, May 19—follow the link below to sign up for the launch.


Extreme Mountain Biking by FPV Drone

World's Best FPV Drone Shot? (Extreme Mountain Biking)

The environments that mountain bikers have to navigate in Red Bull’s Valparaíso Cerro Abajo 2022 race are notoriously narrow, presenting a challenge not just for those racing but also for any drone pilot who wants to shoot the race. But two FPV pilots undertook the challenge, signing on to shoot mountain biking pro Tomas Slavik as he navigated the course. Watch the video above for the full story or skip to 8:13 in the video to see the FPV shot of Slavik competing in the race.


HexTruck Kit Turns Truck Bed into a Drone Station

Credit: Hextronics

Last week at AUVSI XPONENTIAL Hextronics unveiled a new docking station for the Matrice 300. Called the Atlas 300, the docking station was created in partnership with Flytbase and it comes with A.C. and a robotic battery swapping mechanism. Hextronics also has a smaller docking station called the Global Advance. Both of these stations can be installed in the bed of a pickup truck using HexTruck, a kit that turns truck beds into mobile docking stations. Hextruck is compatible with any off-the-shelf drone and comes with a retractable cover, a truck-bed mount, extended antennas for reliable WiFi and GPS, a DC/AC inverter, and a battery pack.


Zipline Teams Up with Toyota for Medical Deliveries in Japan

Credit: Zipline

Medical drone delivery company Zipline recently announced a partnership with Toyota for automated, on-demand medical deliveries in Japan. The deliveries will take place in the Gotō Islands, and will be made to  pharmacies and hospitals located throughout the islands. One benefit of the new delivery method is that it will allow deliveries to be made more easily to remote, isolated areas within the islands. Toyota will be managing the daily operations of the deliveries, including the distribution and flight services, presenting the first time a Zipline operation will be overseen by a partner.


Website Helps People Find Stolen Drones


Have your drone stolen? A website called Stolen Drone Info could help you get it back. The website is a registry of self-reported stolen or missing drones and it contains entries from around the world. Online registries like this have existed for some time for other stolen items, like bicycles. It’s worth noting that these kinds of websites don’t just benefit those who have been the victim of theft—they also provide a place where anyone who is thinking about buying a used drone can go to make sure the drone wasn’t stolen.


$4.4 Million Awarded to Seven Universities for Drone Research from Assure Grant

Image source

The FAA just announced that it has awarded $4.4 million in funding to seven universities for drone research via ASSURE (Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence) grants. According to the FAA, the funding will be used to help it safely integrate drones into the national airspace. The seven universities that received the funding are the University of North Dakota, the University of Kansas, Drexel University, The Ohio State University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Mississippi State University, and Oregon State University. Each university received grants for researching specific drone topics, like drones and their electromagnetic compatibility or cybersecurity and risk management as they relate to drone operations.


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