GDU launches impressive SAGA industrial drone at CES

GDU SAGA light industrial UAV

You know me. I love me some drones. So when I received a PR blast today about the GDU SAGA industrial drone (AKA "light industrial UAV), I got pretty excited. This is not your run-of-the-mill photo drone; instead, it's designed for:

  • Public security - search and rescue, border patrol inspection, fire fighting
  • Energy security - electric power inspection, oil and gas, equipment inspection
  • Infrastructure - transportation infrastructure, survey mining
  • Construction - real estate, construction site mapping, building inspection
  • Agriculture - crop monitoring

GDU does this through a series of snap-on payloads and a 1 kilogram (2.2 lb.) lifting capacity. The payloads include a gimbal for a DSLR, a 4K camera, an infrared camera for crop or power line inspection, 10X and 30X optical zoom cameras, a megaphone, a floodlight, a gas detector module, and a drop module.

The company makes a point of noting that this is a "military quality" drone; in fact, there are multiple press photos showing Chinese military folks using them. I was just impressed that the damned thing can fly in the rain:

GDU SAGA flying while being doused with water

Other specs:

Dimensions745X555X225mm (Unfolded)
273X224X107mm (Folded)
Maximum Take-off Weight3.4kg
Maximum Load1kg
Maximum Horizontal Flight Speed15m/s (Sport Mode, Sea Level/ No Wind)
Maximum Flight Altitude3500m
Maximum Tolerable Wind Speed10m/s
Maximum Flight Time39 minutes
Satellite Positioning ModuleGPS/GLONASS Dual Mode
Hover Accuracy (P-GPS)Vertical: ±0.5m (Downward vision system: ±0.1m)
Horizontal: ±1.5m (Downward vision system: ±0.3m)
IP Protection LevelIP43
Video Transmission and Control Distance10KM

I'm going to see if I can get a loaner for a review; it looks pretty impressive.