Have you ever wanted something that you can turn on, ask it to find you some gold in your backyard, and then take a nap while it works on its own? Be honest, you probably didn’t. But now that you know it’s possible, you’d better want it. Introducing the RadioPlane Seeker, a modular, self-flying drone.
What is it?
I’m going to start off by saying that no, this drone is nothing like a DJI Phantom or Parrot Bebop drone. We’re talking about not a drone for filming, but a drone for finding.
It’s a modular drone, meaning that it will eventually have several attachments to do specific tasks for you, autonomously and timely. But as of now, the module we know of is a metal detector attachment.
As you can see in the picture, it has a metal detector attached to the back of it. Here’s what RadioPlane said in their press release.
“The first completed RadioPlane module – a metal detector attached to the rear mount is currently being prepared for official certification so that it can be used to help clear minefields around the world – our current main goal. It doubles as an advanced automatic gold detector, revolutionizing the task of finding precious or other metals autonomously while you do other things.”
Basically, you don’t have to scan your entire field with your own metal detector. This could revolutionize not only scanning minefields, but even searching for valuable metals. Even if you’re not using this for business purposes, it would just be fun to explore!
Wait, it’s fully autonomous?
I should have been more clear: There is a mode that is fully autonomous. However, you can fly manually too.
“The Seeker can be controlled by a long range remote controller or the RadioPlane mission planner app for shorter distances if you wish to fly the drone manually. Otherwise, activate fully automatic operation in our Mission Planning App.
The RadioPlane Mission Planning app is easy to use. Simply draw a flight path on a touch screen and press start. The app can notify one or multiple users simultaneously if it discovers something in real time and any discoveries are logged for future reference.”
So you can control it with a controller, but if I had one of these things, I would be mainly using the autonomous mode. Their mission planning app is very user-friendly. You outline wherever you want the drone to go with your finger, make sure it’s highlighted, and hit “go”. That’s it!
And in case you’re wondering what happens when the battery starts to die, here’s a little explanation of that too.
“When it runs low on power, it finds its way back to a special RadioPlane Charging Pad where it automatically recharges itself and resumes its mission until completed.”
Pretty cool, right?!
That sounds dangerous!
Yes! It’s extremely dangerous. That’s why the RadioPlane Seeker uses GPS, cameras, and GNSS systems to navigate the environment without hitting anything.
It’s sort of like the Intel Real-Sense technology on the Typhoon H, except on a whole new level. Autonomous flight isn’t perfect yet, but we’re getting pretty close.
How much is the Seeker?
Well, it doesn’t have an official price tag yet, but for a $3400 donation on Kickstarter, they’ll send you an early bird model.
Yeah, it’s expensive, but the technology that they packed into this thing doesn’t come cheap. RadioPlane is opening their Kickstarter project soon, but not as of the time of writing. I’d encourage you to donate 5, 10, or 15 bucks to help them out.
Since the Kickstarter project isn’t live yet, you can view the preview right here.
One last thing: size. It’s a really huge drone, but folds up to be the size of a 17″ laptop. For a drone that’s aimed at performing tasks, size isn’t a big deal. You can see it from above in the picture below.
What do you think of this new drone? Leave a comment below!