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R4 Robotics Offering Opportunities for Commercial and Financial Partners to Take Drone to Next Level
By Robotics Trends Staff - Filed Nov 01, 2010
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R4 Robotics
With advances in battery and miniaturized motor technologies several multi rotor copters have been introduced, essentially based on hobbyist kits and equipped with a retail digital camera for basic aerial photography or video.

Aging power grids and new wind parks are just two emerging markets that demand a sturdy propeller protected craft that can be handled by work crews, stay wind stable within feet of power lines and deliver HD video & data in real time. Most importantly, it requires multiple miniaturized sensors (UV, IR, Lidar, etc.) seamlessly integrated.

R4 Robotics has taken the military unmanned drones into commercial aerial applications that go beyond mini-copters with a camera. Three key technologies distinguish the R4 system:

  • The copter with robust protective safety housing and an auto pilot updating its position 500 times/second providing exceptional wind stability to 30 miles/hour. The operator does not actually fly the craft, but rather guides its path without having to react to the continuous changes in wind and gusts. Waypoints to waypoints are completely autonomous.
  • Visible & invisible range day and night sensor technology, computerized data collection and data management services.
  • True real time downlinks/communication to ground stations and distant headquarters.


The unique features of R4 make it an invaluable tool for utilities, wind, urban infrastructures, rail and freight yards, surveillance & security and many others that need easy access to difficult terrain or dangerous structures.

R4 will be market ready and in position to immediately capture these markets (beyond present pilot programs) when the FAA regulations for the demand of small autonomous aerial UAS are issued (anticipated 2011).

R4 Robotics is now seeking to grow its business beyond the owner’s original investments. The company has the elements for success: Leading-edge products addressing burgeoning market segments. It recognizes however that it can not tackle all these markets without additional capital. It is also looking for partners on specific applications where the specific expertise — for instance wind turbine service requirements — needs to be paired with R4 platforms, sensors and software.

Aerial asset inspection with its related emergency or long-term predictive maintenance capabilities is so new that some of the future markets have yet to be fully recognized and developed.

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