Skycat, the company behind the parachutes launchers:Skycat is a startup company which designs and manufactures emergency recovery systems for drones. The company was founded in 2014 by Henri Hiisilä, a mechanical designer and drone enthusiast after he crashed his own drone 2 years before and realized the risk he had let other people and himself take as he was flying above them with no parachute ejection system. Since there were no performing solution on the market, he first developed one for his own use, then improved it and tested it on various multicopters and finally developed a commercial version for the market.
What problems is Skycat trying to solve with the parachute launcher?The problem is simple although the solution isn't. Drones are extremely useful in various fields from surveillance to video shooting and they're flying over people as most of their applications involve people or populated areas, but in case of a loss of control they become deadly weapons with a weight of several kilos and spinning blades they can kill instantly in case of a crash. The only solution is to reduce their speed at impact and make sure they fall down in a safe and controlled way. This can be reached only by ejecting a parachute quickly enough to stabilize them before they are too low. Now to do this from a falling copter in any orientation with spinning propellers, and before it has fallen from a 10m height, you need something special. To do this you need to shoot the parachute out of the propellers way with such a speed that the chute would deploy instantly, whatever the relative speed actually is. You also need to deploy within tenth of seconds from triggering. Such a system did not exist before Skycat invented it.
Designing and conception of their product:The design was based on simple principles which are proven to work well. By experience of the failures of some other adaptation trials from human parachutes and hobby rockets, we knew what must be avoided. The rest is the perfect alchemy to find the right balance between weight, performance and costs. We started with a simple tube that would keep the chute folded, but not squeeze it. Secondly we knew explosives were not safe and prevented transportation so we banned them from the beginning. Thirdly we wanted to have a simple, light, and absolutely 100% reliable trigger, so we worked very hard until we had one.
How CustomTools helped the Skycat's team in their design:Although the result looks fairly simple, there's dozens of little secrets that would make a simple copy of our product just useless. All of them were invented through extensive testing of hundreds of prototypes. This is were CustomTools came in, we needed to have a tool that made prototype design so easy and quick that it was cheaper and quicker to build each single option, idea or version than to discuss whether they would be better or not. We worked like nature does, we build all the crazy things we had in mind, tested them, kept the ones that worked and did that again with the next batch of improvements, and tested it right away leaving no room for chance, or open questions. The result just works, and that's what customers pay for.
Watch the Skycat parachute launchers official trailer:
The CustomTools' Team would like to thank Bruno Lespinasse and Henri Hiisilä for their contributions to this blog article. Also we would wish Skypro, all the success that they deserve with their parachute launcher!
For more information about Skycat please visit their website.