SkyTy: Why a drone ?

A diverse set of creative solutions exist for automating tasks within an environment. The common ones are:

A robot arm
Gantry crane

Ground robot
or a clever combination.

These conventional solutions add few challenges for the specific task of rebar tying. Due the large areas that need to be tied, a robot arm needs to be gigantic to reach hundreds of feet. A ground robot needs to move on top of the rebar, moving the rebar out of alignment. This leaves us with a gantry robot, which work great to reach different parts of the site. But they require many hours to setup, install and remove. They lack scalability and flexibility to perform jobs of different sizes or at higher speeds.

There are other non-conventional methods such as quadruped robots such as Boston Dynamics’ Spot. They require additional mechanical/actuation complexities to walk on rebar. We are optimistic and eager to see more progress on this front.

Currently, a flying drone – it is a hopping drone in reality – provides a simple, cost effective means of moving a payload from one place to the other. The payload in our case is a rebar tying tool. SkyTy combines a high mobility platform (drone) with a small gantry. This provides super fast reach to different areas of the site, while simultaneously reducing the time-in-flight and the power consumption for hovering.

SkyTy with gantry system highlighted

Below is the comparison of a drone without a gantry against a SkyTy system. The hopping (flying) time is significantly reduced. The overall elapsed time is improved since we leverage the gantry and its precision.

Comparison of a drone performing one tie for every landing vs SkyTy system with a gantry.

If you are interested in learning more about SkyTy, contact us