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Unmanned Systems & Drones

Great balls of flight

Skye, the interactive flying robot, doesn’t just shoot video images from lofty heights, it’s also set to tap into new interactive marketing opportunities – as a 3D experience that stirs the emotions.

10 Feb. 2016

It was only a few weeks ago that a camera drone lost control, slammed into the ground and burst open on a piste – uncomfortably close to Austrian slalom star Marcel Hirscher. Fortunately, the incident was not serious, but it did expose an acute need for improvement – particularly when it comes to operating drones above crowds of people. During CeBIT, a spin-off from the leading international university for technology and the natural sciences, ETH Zürich, is showing there was no need to wait for a close call like this before pursuing this particular avenue of research. The engineers from the Partner Country of CeBIT 2016 are bringing their entirely “harmless” interactive flying robot Skye to Hannover, where it will be circling above the heads of visitors.

Skye has the elegant and energy-efficient flight characteristics of a blimp, but can be controlled with a similar level of precision to a conventional quadcopter. Thanks to its symmetrically arranged mechanics, the spherical flying machine, which can even be touched while in flight, revolves with ease at all altitudes. Equipped with a camera system and boasting agile flight technology, long flight times and exceptional safety features, Skye is like a floating eye in the sky that is ideal for countless situations – but without the look of a menacing surveillance system. And Skye is one bubble that is not going to burst any time soon – its developers will be staging an interactive demonstration at CeBIT to show how flight robots from this year’s partner country can play their part in the future of the entertainment sector.

ETH Zürich - Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (8092 Zürich, Switzerland), Hall 6, Stand D30, Topic: Swiss pavilion