The Valencia-based startup Quaternium is pioneering a long-lasting drone that will solve the probem facing modern commercial drones – their limited flying time.
The HYBRiX drone, designed by Quaternium, lasts for between two and four hours, significantly longer than the maximum of 25 minutes that most commercial drones currently fly for.
The startup has used cutting-edge technology from hybrid cars in the drone, which includes a range extender that transforms fuel from a small combustion engine to power the propellers – giving the unmanned aerial vehicle the possibility of flying for four hours without refueling.
The drones will be able to undertake tasks that are out of reach of current drones, which have a mere 20 minute lifespan, a company spokesman told The Local.
“It can be used in a variety of areas, including for medical transport, surveillance, precision farming and search and rescue,” Alicia Fuentes told The Local.
“Our aim is to become a safer and more cost-effective alternative to helicopters or aeroplanes for commercial use,” she added.
“Operating a helicopter is risky, with a slow reaction time, and very expensive by comparison.”
The drone will be released commercially in Spain in 2016.