On April 30, Hexadrone unveiled its first serial drone, the Tundra, a ruggedized, multi-functional, modular drone that will be industrially manufactured in a factory under construction in France. The Tundra uses ultra-rugged, miniature Fischer UltiMate™ and Fischer MiniMax™ connectivity solutions, able to withstand the harsh environments the drone may need to operate in.
Resulting from more than three years of development, the Tundra is the first French modular, multi-rotor drone. Designed in Hexadrone’s workshops in the Haute-Loire in an open innovation logic, this collaborative tool carrier, in its beta version, won the prestigious Red Dot Design Award in 2018.
Unveiled on April 30, 2021 in its serial version, the Tundra is a unique 100% modular, multifunctional unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), designed and manufactured as a development hub for integrators. The body is equipped with numerous interfaces that allow the integration of accessories, sensors and other modules already available on the market, or the development of new ones. This enables the Tundra to adapt to custom features and rapid changes in the state of the art, which also helps it combat obsolescence. The drone’s arms are interchangeable and easy to remove. The user can choose from three different types, depending on the various missions and flight scenarios planned. With the most durable arms, the Tundra can carry a payload of up to four kilos for a flight time of 30 minutes – a high performance in the world of multirotor drones.
The serial production of the Tundra, made possible thanks to the construction of an industrial building underway in Saint Ferréol d’Auroure in the Haute-Loire, is the logical next step in this drone’s development that meets the market needs analyzed by Alexandre Labesse, Hexadrone’s Chairman and Founder: “With this multifunctional, modular tool carrier, our customers are opening up the field of possibilities in their collaborative projects and lowering their development costs when they adapt the drone to users’ new needs and new technologies on the market. This is not possible with most of today’s drones, which are designed for a single type of use and quickly become obsolete due to rapid technological advances. In response to obsolescence, we’ve opted for adaptability and durability.”
The Tundra’s durability is ensured through a robust design that allows for intensive use in the field. The drone is waterproof and can cope with harsh conditions. Moreover, transportation and assembly in the field are easy, as the landing gear can be fitted and the arms screwed on in less than a minute.
Two types of robust, miniature connector for intensive, durable use
To fulfill the drone’s technical requirements for modularity, reliability, durability, ruggedness and ease of use, Hexadrone chose Fischer Connectors’ high-performance, ultra-robust, push-pull connectivity solutions. The Tundra comes equipped with a rugged Fischer UltiMateTM USB 2.0 connector that is waterproof and reliable in all conditions. The standard interfaces can accommodate external modules linked, among others, by Fischer MiniMaxTM connectors and cabling, which optimize the high-density miniaturization of on-board electronics, such as a companion computer, a storage module, a security key or a lidar that the Tundra can be fitted with for certain aerial remote-sensing missions using lasers.
Guy Lacroix, Director of Fischer Connectors France, is very happy with the technological partnership established throughout this rugged drone’s development: “We’ve been supporting the Tundra’s innovations from the outset. Our experts are gratified to have been able to see the project through to serial production with suitable connectivity solutions. Since connectivity lies at the heart of this rugged UAV, our high-performance solutions proposed in this modular offering cover the whole range of integrators’ technical requirements in terms of robustness and reliability, miniaturization, sealing up to IP68, and data transmission”.
Hexadrone SAS is a French company specializing in the mechatronic development of various solutions linked to the use of civil and military drones that has been in operation since 2014, located in Saint-Didier-en-Velay in the Haute-Loire department in France.
Since 2016, it has been working on the development of the TUNDRA® drone, a unique 100% modular and multifunctional UAV designed in an open innovation logic: serving as a development hub for integrators, the aircraft is a collaborative tool carrier that can be configured using complementary blocks to suit specific needs and flight missions, and technological developments in the market. Sealed, it can operate in harsh conditions.
Hexadrone also has a design office with expertise in mechatronics, electronics and mechanics for the development of hardware and software, serving particularly demanding government agencies, as well as an online shop with more than 3,000 references of recognized RTF (ready-to-fly) drone brands and OEM products.