Swarm of 'eBee' Drones Generate 3D Model of Mountain in Swiss Alps

A spin-off company of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), called senseFly, develops and assembles autonomous mini-drones and related software solutions. The company's eBee drone has a flight time of up to 45 minutes, allowing it to cover areas of up to almost four square miles in a single flight. With its small 16-MP camera it can shoot high-resolution aerial imagery. CEO Jean-Christophe Zufferey describes how the company recently launched three lightweight eBee drones around the beautiful Matterhorn mountain, in the Swiss Alps. Over six hours and multiple flights, the mini-drones took almost 3,000 images. With Pix4D and Postflight Terra 3D-EB software, senseFly engineers were able to create a high-definition 3D point-cloud made up of 300 million points, with a resolution of 20 cm.