Unveiling HexTruck: Battery-Swapping Drone-Dock Integrated With a Pickup Truck

In collaboration with FlytBase, Miami-based autonomous drone dock manufacturer Hextronics are releasing HexTruck — a vehicle-mountable drone hangar for automated mobile inspection and public safety operations.

The New & Improved Hextronics Global Advanced
The Hextronics Global gained significant traction among adopters of autonomous drone technology for its rugged yet lightweight design, compatibility with off-the-shelf drone platforms (such as the DJI Mavic 2 series), rapid drone-battery-swapping capability, and a highly affordable price point, since its release in May 14, 2021. To learn more about its features, visit https://flytnow.com/hextronics/.

Over the following months, the design of the Hextronics Global went through several improvements for increased safety and reliability. This iterative process also led to several upgrades – more powerful cooling, better connectivity, and more efficient battery-cycle management, to name a few – resulting in the new and improved Hextronics Global
Advanced.

Why HexTruck
Working closely with first responders, public safety officials, and drone service providers (DSPs), the Hextronics team learned that shorter response times and easy handling of drone fleets were required for effective deployments, particularly during emergencies.

Consequently, a new variant of the Global Advanced has been designed for increased mobility by tightly integrating it with a pickup truck. The drone can now be charged on the move, and requires no human intervention, as its entire operation (including, take-off, landing, battery swapping and management) is fully automated and can be managed
remotely. This system also makes long-distance inspections of high-value industrial assets, such as railways and powerlines, simpler, easier, and more efficient.

Key Features & Use Cases
The HexTruck is designed for use in any geography (urban, suburban, or rural) and can fit on the back of any standard pickup truck.

Here are some of the key components of the mountable kit:

  • The Hextronics Global Advanced
  • Customizable truck-bed mount & retractable cover: Secures the dock firmly to the
    truck and shields it from dust, rain, and tampering
  • DC/AC inverter and isolated battery pack: Enables efficient mobile operations and
    prevents drain to the truck’s main battery
  • Extended antennas: For reliable WiFi and GPS connections

Some high-value applications where the HexTruck could significantly increase productivity and efficiency:

  • First response
  • Powerline inspection
  • Railway inspection
  • Large-scale crop monitoring
  • Construction management and monitoring

Software Integration
FlytNow Auto – the all-in-one drone-in-a-box (DiaB) automation software that comes pre-integrated with HexTruck – offers an easy & interactive user experience with fully automated, high-mobility operations. The FlytNow team has worked closely with Hextronics to roll out crucial software updates for safe and reliable deployments.

Here are the five key features offered by FlytNow to ensure the effectiveness of automated
drone missions:

  • Go to location: Instantly dispatch drones to a particular location for quick response
    time
  • Multi-cam video feed: View live video captured by a user’s entire fleet of drones
    and docking stations
  • Guest link sharing: Share multiple live drone and dock feeds to stakeholders on
    the go
  • Remote payload control: Toggle the thermal camera and spotlight in just one click.
    Broadcast alert messages with the onboard loudspeaker
  • Extensive failsafes: Configure actions to tackle scenarios such as connectivity loss,
    low battery, and landing failure

About Hextronics
Hextronics LLC is an engineering company based in Miami, FL (USA), that builds products to facilitate autonomous functionalities for the growing drone industry. Their drone-station solution offers benefits to reduce operations cost, optimize flight-time, increase the drone-transmission radius, and extend battery life. Along the way, Hextronics and
their team have won the Engineering Capstone Design Competition at the Georgia Institute of Technology, graduated from the GT CreateX Start-Up Accelerator, received recognition from the largest tech journal in South Florida (Refresh Miami), and also were selected as Miami Inno’s top 25 under 25 companies.

About FlytBase
Founded in 2016, FlytBase, Inc., a Silicon Valley company, has built the world’s first Internet of Drones (IoD) platform, providing drone-agnostic software solutions to automate and scale drone operations. FlytBase offerings are compatible with major drone hardware platforms (e.g., DJI, Ardupilot, PX4) and come with SDKs, simulators, and
APIs for ease of application development and seamless integration. FlytBase was a part of Cisco’s accelerator program and was recognised as the Grand Champion at the NTT Data’s Global Innovation Contest.

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