US firm Robotic Research has unveiled their Pegasus Mini, a smaller version of their Pegasus unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) family that can also operate as an unmanned ground vehicle (UGV), flying for up to 30 minutes or for up to two hours on land.
The man-portable quad-rotor platform can carry a payload of just under a kilogram in weight meaning the Pegasus Mini could be equipped with ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) sensors or even weaponised with a small explosive charge or projectile. The platform itself weighs just under two kilograms.
Robotic Research claims the platform can successfully operate in GPS denied environments through the integration of the Velabit sensor from Velodyne Lidar which uses LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) to autonomously map terrain. Robotic Research President, Alberto Lacaze, explained; “Before the Velabit there was no suitable small and lightweight LIDAR for small unmanned aerial vehicles and unmanned ground vehicles performing obstacle avoidance or mapping, Since Robotic Research’s Pegasus Mini is a fully autonomous ground and air vehicle, it requires the Velabit’s size and versatility. In addition, the Velabit enables the most advanced GPS-denied HD mapping in the industry.”
Robotic Research further noted; “This small but mighty system has immense versatility and reach like no other robotic vehicle, flying at very high speeds with a payload capacity that can carry important tools to reach critical locations in unpredictable environments.” A tube launched variant is also on the cards, making the platform even more attractive for defense applications.
The firm offers a full range of “… tactically deployable, transformable, autonomous robotic systems that provides all the air capability of a VTOL [vertical take-off and landing] UAS [unmanned aerial system] in conjunction with the capabilities of a tracked UGV.” These include the Pegasus II unveiled last year (capable of carrying a two kilogram payload) and the Pegasus III (capable of payloads between five and ten kilograms). All versions are designed to be able to enter buildings through a standard sized door frame, however, the new Pegasus Mini is capable of transiting windows and similar confined spaces.