Kickstarter is now hosting a campaign to develop the BatMon, a petite monitor that can be added to an existing battery so a drone pilot can track the health and remaining capability of that battery while in flight.
BatMon is a project of Rotoye, an Atlanta-based startup launched by Georgia Institute of Technology alums that counts among its founders Eohan George and Stephan Posey, the CEO and chief technology officer respectively of SkyMul. SkyMul, which has won Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards from the Air Force Research Laboratory and the National Science Foundation, is developing a drone that will be able to tie together the rods of rebar used in construction projects. Both Rotoeye and SkyMul have roots in The Farm, a business accelerator sponsored by Comcast NBCUniversal to nurture technology entrepreneurs.
The BatMon is a SMBUS-compatible device weighing just 12 grams. It displays the current, the individual cell voltages and the battery temperatures from different thermistors. It also gives an estimate of how much of the battery is remaining. The monitor supports the 18650 lithium-ion battery and a few Lithium polymer packs. When installed with a compatible autopilot like PixHawk, ArduPilot or Arduino the BatMon can keep an operator apprised of the battery’s status in real time during operation.
The BatMon team is 65 percent of the way to their goal of raising $7,800. Backers get a discount on the purchase price of one or more BatMons and free installation of the monitor on a Titan battery. Titan is supporting Rotoye by offering a discount on their batteries. The Kickstarter campaign ends the morning of February 20.
Photo courtesy of Rotoeye