Drone No. 1: OS4. First ever quadrotor system in free flight

OS4 was the world’s first freely flying quadrotor drone. It was developed by the Autonomous Systems Lab at EPFL (now at ETH Zurich) in 2004. This pioneering work by Samir Bouabdallah, Roland Siegwart and others triggered much new research in the field. Moreover, it resulted in the current boom of the multicopters with millions of systems sold over the last few years. After the successful integration and demonstration of the OS4 control, several preliminary concepts for collision avoidance, height control and automatic landing were subsequently developed and demonstrated in 2006.

Year of birth: 2004
Place of birth: Lausanne
Measurements: 62 × 62 × 30 cm
Weight: 0.6 kg
Function: Research platform


Drone No. 2: ATLANTIKSOLAR. Towards low-altitude multi-day endurance

Originally built for the very first Atlantic crossing of an unmanned solar-powered aircraft, AtlantikSolar has demonstrated its long endurance capabilities: Its non-stop flight of 82 hours in summer 2015 set a new world record in flight endurance for UAVs of its size. By taking high-resolution images of remote glaciers in the arctic region in summer 2017, AtlantikSolar contributed to the research of glaciologists at ETH Zurich.

Year of birth: 2013
Place of birth: Zurich
Measurements: 560 x 200 x 45 cm
Weight: 6.7 kg
Functions: Multi-day sensing, mapping


Drone No. 3: WINGTRAONE The VTOL drone for mapping and surveying

What started as an ambitious student project resulted in an easy-to-use product that is being used all over the world. Combining the advantages of multicopters and fixed-wing aircrafts, the WingtraOne is able to take off and land vertically on spot while still offering the high endurance needed to cover large areas with a professional grade payload.

Year of birth: 2016
Place of birth: Zurich
Measurements: 125 × 68 × 12 cm
Weight: 3.7 kg
Functions: Mapping, surveying


Drone No. 4: EBEE PLUS Aerial efficiency, photogrammetric accuracy

EBEE PLUS is an ultra-light drone used for mapping purposes and produced by senseFly, the flagship of the Swiss drone industry. senseFly was created in 2009 at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne and employs over a hundred people. Its products are used in surveillance, agriculture, the humanitarian sphere and industrial inspection. senseFly is the commercial dronesubsidiary of Parrot Group – the leading European group in the drone industry.

Year of birth: 2016
Place of birth: Lausanne, VD
Measurements: 110 × 60 cm
Weight: 1.1 kg
Functions: Surveying, agriculture, engineering and humanitarian aid

Minidrones produced by sensFly have been used in Zanzibar to map the country. The Zanzibar Mapping Initiative is the most ambitious drone-driven mapping project in theworld.


Drone No. 5: VOLIRO. Multicopters free from any restrictions

Voliro represents a novel aerial platform combining the advantages of existing multirotor systems with the agility of omni-directionally controllable platforms. Voliro is a hexacopter with tiltable rotors. As the rotor orientation can be fully controlled, the system allows for decoupling the control of position and orientation. It makes possible new kinds of applications, such as manipulation tasks (e.g. inspection of bridges) or stunning flight acrobatics.

Year of birth: 2017
Place of birth: Zurich
Measurements: 110 × 110 × 30 cm
Weight: 3.2 kg
Functions: Inspection, entertainment


Drone No. 6: SKP125. An innovative drone to enable sustainable and affordable wind energy production

Skypull is an autonomous tethered drone that climbs to high altitudes. Up there, it captures the power of altitude winds that are stronger, more abundant and continuous than the winds driving conventional wind turbines. Skypull operates like a kite and transforms the wind into kinetic energy which is converted into electricity by a ground generator. By reaching higher altitudes and by avoiding heavy and cumbersome infrastructure, Skypull is cheaper and better deployable than current wind energy technologies.

Year of birth: 2017
Place of birth: Lugano
Measurements: 135 × 105 × 45 cm
Weight: 8 kg
Function: Airborne wind energy


Drone No. 7: ELIOS. Safe drone for inaccessible places

Flyability introduces the first collision-tolerant flying robot designed for industrial inspection professionals. Allowing for the first time access to complex, cluttered or indoor places, Elios is unleashing the potential of UAVs in a number of applications where their use was previously too dangerous or simply impossible. Inspection can be performed at lower costs, downtime, and risks.

Year of birth: 2018
Place of birth: Lausanne
Measurements: 40 × 40 × 40 cm
Weight: 1.4 kg
Function: Industrial inspection


Drone No. 8: PACKDRONE. A human-friendly transportation drone

Dronistics is an EPFL spin-off company that has developed a human-friendly drone delivery system. The company's product, PackDrone is a patented foldable drone that can carry 500 grams of payload over a distance of 2km. The PackDrone has a cage that protects people from its spinning propellers. The foldable design reduces storage volume by 92%. Additionally, Dronistics has developed a web application for portable devices that enables inexperienced users to send the drone from person to person in an intuitive manner.

Year of birth: 2018
Place of birth: Lausanne
Measurements: 65 × 65 × 43 cm (deployed)
Weight: 1.4 kg
Function: Delivery


This website is managed by Presence Switzerland, the unit of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs in charge of promoting Switzerland’s image abroad. Homeofdrones.org aims to inform about the Swiss drone ecosystem by presenting articles about the various actors and showcasing some of the drones that fly in the Swiss sky.
Presence Switzerland works closely with other official entities in Switzerland and abroad.
You can find more on Swiss drones on houseofswitzerland.org