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Custom Drone Gimbals for Autonomous Inspections – FAQ

While using drones for all sorts of infrastructure inspections is gradually becoming a new normal, we’ve seen a growing market need for high-performance drone gimbals, which are seamlessly fitted to unusual operational parameters, non-standard set-up and niche sensors – be it a hyper-/super-spectral or industrial camera, LiDAR, laser or radar. We’ve decided to collect some hardware and software considerations, we’ve discussed with our customers in the course of drone gimbal projects. 

Do custom-built drone gimbals make a good alternative to integrated payload gimbals?
Many users looking for a drone gimbal for autonomous inspection projects are first of all faced with a choice between an integrated payload gimbal and a custom camera stabilizer. With 12 years of experience in custom gimbal design, at HD Air Studio we believe that custom gimbal is a good alternative to integrated payload gimbals, because you can use a sensor of your own selection, and still enjoy a drone gimbal that is designed to perfectly fit all subsystems, including a drone frame, making it fast and easy to use.

How do you handle the challenge of cable management in drone gimbals?
Quick set-up time and huge efficiency of a drone gimbal are a must during autonomous inspection projects. Dangling cables are the last thing you need there. Our custom-built motors with hollow shafts solve the challenge of cable management, even in case of multi-sensor gimbals. Hollow shafts allow us to neatly run all electrical wiring, which varies a lot in custom projects, as well as reduce the gimbal weight. 

What if I want to use two different sensors with your drone gimbal?  
Our custom gimbals are designed with an agile approach in mind. With over 12 years of the market experience, we have designed many gimbals which are ready to use in a couple of sensor’ configurations and all types of sensors are easily detachable from a drone. We also try to be adaptable to changes in the course of the project, so usually we discuss a couple of design configurations until we come up with the ultimate solution.

Is it possible to expand software capabilities of drone gimbals?  
We know that vibration-free footage is not enough for today’s drone gimbals, especially when it comes to autonomous inspections. HD Air Studio custom gimbals offer limitless programming possibilities, because they are equipped with expandable software. Thanks to Serial API, our gimbals are compatible with third-party data processing software. This allows our Customers to seamlessly integrate with Serial API and use gimbals for various sophisticated commands, including: retrieving real-time data, object live tracking, changing settings, performing automated or pilot-managed actions and many others. Data security is a great advantage of this model – you are the sole owner of data gathered by the gimbal and its peripheral devices.

Developing high-performance gimbals providing vibration-free footage for all sorts of autonomous inspections is our thing. Electricity grids, wind turbines, building sites, oil & gas infrastructure are successfully monitored using drones with HD Air Studio custom aerial gimbals. Below have a glimpse at our recent projects: 


Customer: US provider of agricultural drone inspections
Sensors: Cubert S185 FireflEYE hyperspectral camera
Project: designing and producing a gimbal for Cubert S185 FireflEYE. This sensor is quite unusual – it weights only 490g, but it’s quite large in size. Gimbals available on the market that would be able to house a sensor of such big dimensions were too heavy. HD Air Studio came up with an ultra-light gimbal, supporting the drone flight time efficiency.

Customer: UK provider of autonomous inspections in construction, oil & gas, infrastructure
Sensors: Canon EOS
Project: customizing solutions from HD Air Studio’s regular line of products – Sonda X8 drone frame and Infinity MR-S2 gimbal – for Canon EOS so as to make the hardware work seamlessly with the client’s peripheral devices (V-Map, Slantrange, gimbal, obstacle avoidance µPatch, uSharp and others). Our camera stabilizer and drone frame are a part of the client’s command and control solution which enables pilots to fly drones remotely from a central control room.

Customer: Canada-based drone service provider specializing in industrial & agricultural inspections
Sensors: SONY A6300, sensors: SlantRange main sensor, slantrange top sensor – antenna, Vmap sensor, µ-patch on the drone
Project: developing a custom aerial solution, consisting of a drone & gimbal prepared for 3 types of sensors with adjustable mounts. Thanks to its folding arms, the drone frame is very convenient to transport. This platform is designed to mount different peripheral devices.The drone had to be ready to use in a couple of configurations and all types of sensors should be easily detachable from the drone.

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