© 2012 by 4Front Robotics​. "Outbound Innovation". ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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​CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS



Mailing Address:​

4Front Robotics

177 Tuscany Glen Place N.W.

Calgary, AB,  T3L 2Z3

Canada

Tel:   +1.403.400.2991

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)

FLYING WHERE OTHERS CAN'T

Below you will find our highly maneuverable aerial vehicle products and their specifications. If you are interested in purchasing any of these products or have questions about possible size and configurations please contact us for prices and quotes.

There are four different versions currently available, each fitting a different range of requirements. Currently, two versions run on internal combustion gas engines (Navig8-32 and -56), and two are smaller electric vehicles (Navig8-E09 and -E16). Click on the figure

on the right to see an expanded size comparison of the four commercial Navig8 classes.

Navig8 UAV

The Navig8 family of UAV’s is a set of scalable highly maneuverable, vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) vehicles. Their primary use is in helicopter impenetrable environments

such as, the inside of a building, mine shaft, or under a forest canopy (but can also be

used in open spaces as other UAV types). All Navig8 vehicles share the same core

abilities, maneuverability in confined spaces and the ability to hover and land while in

a non-zero pitch attitude. All vehicles are based on similar platform layouts as well, with

twin ducted fans flanking a central fuselage.

TM

The Navig8 system can be scaled up or down to satsfy our clients' requirements contact us for details.

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Navig8 Gas

Portable & scaleable twin

shrouded-prop gas VTOL UAV

for operations in open (e.g.,

pipeline inspectionas well as

confined spaces (e.g., urban

canyons, forests, etc). The variable-pitch props & the dual ducted optimal design enables the UAV to have greater payload capacity (50-60% more payload) when compared to similar size UAVs. This UAV uses thrust vectoring and a proprietary active CofM change device as primary means of flight control to perform knife-edge maneuvers (e.g., pitched hover), which enables the UAV to take-off and land on highly slopped terrains (e.g., 25-45 degrees of inclination). The shrouded props tilt, individually, about a single common axis for pitch and yaw control. The ducts are easily removed and replaced for ease of transport. The flying and active navigation system characteristics are possible due to a novel CACM-RL control mechanism, MPC navigation, and optimal mechanical design.

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Navig8 Electric

Portable twin shrouded-prop,

electric VTOL UAV for operations

inside confined spaces (e.g.,

buildings, warehouses, mines, etc.)

or in close proximity to critical

infrastructure (e.g., power lines & bridge inspection).

The variable-pitch props & the dual ducted optimal design

enables the UAV to have greater payload capacity (50-60% more) and fly for longer periods of time when compared to similar size UAVs. This UAV has enhanced knife-edge maneuver capabilities (when compared to our gas powered Navig8 UAVs) and can also take-off and land on highly slopped terrains (e.g., 25-45 degrees of inclination). This UAV uses our proprietary zero lift tail rotor for enhanced control and easier to fly and perform autonomous pitch hover and other maneuvers at high speeds (e.g., inside collapsed building. The shrouded props tilt, individually, about inclined axes/spars for pitch and yaw control.

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OUR UAVs IN TECHNICAL TERMS:

 

Maneuverability: In the development of our highly maneuverable UAVs we define maneuverability, based on the definition by Philip Carter, as: The ability to change attitude and direction on three axes/dimensions. For this our UAVs generate the required forces and moments on each axis. In our UAVs maneuverability is decoupled from velocity, meaning that our VTOL UAVs retain the ability to change attitude and direction at zero airspeed, and even at negative airspeeds (e.g., moving backwards). This also implies the capability of our UAVs to fly at zero airspeed (hover) while maintaining full three-axis control (e.g., pitched hover allowing our UAVs to take-off and land from unprepared highly slopped terrain).

 

In the most generalized terms, we determine an aircraft’s (fixed-wing or VTOL) maneuverability as its ability to:

 

  • Change attitude around the aircraft’s three axes (longitudinal, lateral, and vertical).

  • Change velocity on the aircraft’s three axes, and in the three spatial dimensions (1 vertical and 2 horizontal).

 

Following on from our definition:

 

  • Changes in attitude on each axis are created by the moments acting on the aircraft on that axis and are resisted by the mass moments of inertia of the aircraft on that axis.

  • Changes in velocity on each axis are created by the forces acting on that axis and are resisted by the mass inertia (mass, or weight) of the aircraft.

 

Thus, to increase maneuverability, we lower the inertias of the aircraft and increase the available moments and forces:

 

Inertias:

To minimize an aircraft’s inertias, one minimizes the mass (weight) of the aircraft and concentrates that mass as close as possible to the center of gravity (CG).

 

  • Navig8's mass moments of inertia are reduced by placing the motors/engines/payload/etc. perfectly balanced near the CG.

  • Navig8's weight is reduced by using advanced composite structures, while increasing the thrust power to weight ratio using optimized ducted fan design. Navig8 also uses an active centre of mass change device to maintain a perfectly balanced aircraft despite fuel consumption or the addition of payload sensors. Such device is also used to change the attitude of the aircraft as needed.

 

Moments:

To maximize control moments, one typically (in a fixed wing aircraft) maximizes the area and efficiency of the control surfaces and the velocity of the airflow passing over them.

 

  • At cruising flight speeds, Navig8's control moments on all three axes are adjusted by using thrust vectoring via the optimized duct design. Thus, having the capability to perform 3D aerobatic maneuvers.

  • At low and zero air speeds, Navig8's control moments surpass those of existing VTOL aircrafts by actively changing the aircraft's location of the center of mass, thus having full control of the attitude of the aircraft.

 

Forces:

Longitudinal forces are determined by the available thrust and drag.

Vertical forces are determined by the available lift (upright and inverted).

Lateral forces are determined by the available lateral lift.

 

  • Navig8's available thrust, is enhanced by using optimal ducted fan designs that increases the thrust by 50-60% of traditional systems.

  • Drag, as a function of speed, is practically zero when using the UAV in confined spaces where maneuvering is more important than speed.