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Saint Malo Mini Maker FaireThis post is coming to you live from the Saint Malo Mini-Maker Faire—the first Maker Faire in France—being held at the IUT de Saint-Malo here this weekend.

Omar-Pierre Soubra with the Gatewing X100 UAV.

Omar-Pierre Soubra with the Gatewing X100 UAV.

While not the latest model—that would be their UX5—the Trimble Gatewing X100 drone was drawing a lot of attention at Saint Malo Mini-Maker Faire. Capable of autonomous operation—all the way from launch through to its landing—the drone is designed to map terrain it’s overflying.

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The drone has a polystyrene body—with carbon fiber reinforcing on the leading edge of the wings and the wing tips—and houses a controllable camera which allows a 3D model of the underlying terrain to be built up using photogrammetry. Alongside the camera the drone carries a 2.4GHz radio, a GPS unit, an accelerometer and a gyroscope—it also has a Pitot tube mounted on one wing.

After defining the area to be mapped inside Google maps, the drone is launched from a sling, and will return autonomously after its reconnaissance flight to land flat—which explains to rear-mounted foldable propeller.

Interestingly, one of the major uses for the drone is to calculate volumes; a lot of open pit quarries are using it to to figure out how much rock has been removed at the end of the day, and municipalities are using it to overfly their trash heaps—and work out how much volume of trash has been added rather than taken away.

Omar-Pierre Soubra—from Trimble and here with the drone in Saint Malo—commented that the legality of operating the drone varied wildly between countries.  For instance here in France you needed a full pilot’s license and you must file flight plans and other paper work, whilst in other countries regulation was much less strict.

Alasdair Allan

Alasdair Allan

Alasdair Allan is a scientist, author, hacker and tinkerer, who at the moment is spending a lot of his time thinking about the Internet of Things. In the past he has mesh networked the Moscone Center, caused a U.S. Senate hearing, and contributed to the detection of what was—at the time—the most distant object yet discovered.

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    Smart Technology Review is the connect all smartphone,laptop,computer,software,hardware and others thinks.

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  • Luce

    Thanks sharing has been a very useful

  • andrea

    Thanks sharing has been a very useful beatifullllll ;)


    I’m considering different options to buy a fixed wing drone; people talk a lot about Gatewing but I saw Lehmann Aviation LA300 who seem very good for the sames capabilities and a much lower price ; is someone knows about Lehmann Aviation aircrafts? what do you think?
    Thanks for yours answers