Hirobo is known primarily for toy RC helicopters – however the Japanese company is now using its advanced engineering expertise for nobler applications. At the International Robotics Exhibition in Tokyo Hirobo just unveiled its HX-1 unmanned electric rescue helicopter, which can withstand severe weather conditions to deliver vital medical supplies to hard to access locations.
The HX-1 joins Hirobo’s fleet of high-end helicopters – which include small-scale toys and the full-sized single-seat personal BIT copter. The helicopter can fly autonomously using Hirobo’s small IMU-05 altitude sensor, which collects data on angular rate, acceleration, altitude angle, and magnetic direction. This allows the helicopter to remain stable in a variety of adverse weather conditions, making it ideal for search and rescue missions. Coaxial counter-rotating blades and a brushless motor power the copter for up to half an hour with a range of 30 miles at speeds topping out at 62 mph.
The company hopes to put the HX-1 into production later this year it has plans for a manned version in the future. The first model will be an ambulance unit (featuring a spare battery and a medical kit) that will cost around $80,000. The HX-1 can be modified to accomplish a number of tasks including the delivery of relief supplies, blood and organ transportation, and site surveillance. The HX-1’s price tag will allow organizations with limited budgets to purchase their own rescue vehicle and take advantage of technology to keep their staff out of danger.
Images via Gizmag