Red Dot Award: Product Design

Award-winning drones

Award-winning design: drones on the rise

Whether for film productions, spectacular footage of top and amateur athletes, logistics systems of our future or agriculture – drones are increasingly being used in different areas of life. While they nowadays mainly come into action for photo and sound recordings, they still offer various possibilities, especially in the scientific and commercial sector. So, the pilotless aviation systems can assist with landscape architecture, provide an insight into thermal bridges or be used for media production. Furthermore, package drones, equipped with transportation possibilities, can help to make deliveries.

These trends are also reflected in the Red Dot Award: Product Design. Since 2017, designers and manufacturers can hand in their products in the independent category “Drones and action cameras”. This year, the quality of the products notably convinced the jury.

Tundra: product of the month in the Red Dot Design Museum Essen

In October, the modular drone “Tundra”, awarded in the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2018 with a Red Dot, has been selected as product of the month by Vito Oražem, Managing Director of the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen and Director of the Red Dot Design Museum. The camera has been developed in close collaboration with future users from science, the military, the fire brigade and agriculture. The product, manufactured from Hexadrone SAS and designed from DÖT Design, adjusts flexibly to different scenarios and is easy to handle. As its arms are replaceable, the user can change the flight characteristics with just a few hand movements. Tundra is made from a carbon microfibre composite. This makes the drone very light, rugged and resistant to shocks. “The drone’s reduced and aesthetic form takes away any threatening or warlike appearance that stigmatises many products in the industry,” explains Oražem his choice.

AirSelfie: flying moments

Especially when travelling, selfies document our everyday life. In designing AirSelfie, manufactured by AirSelfie and designed by Edoardo Stroppiana, the development of new opportunities for this ubiquitous cultural phenomenon was central. Thus, a “flying camera” emerged, offering image capture capabilities that exceed the standards of all current smartphones. It features a high-performance HD camera for shooting photos and videos in 1080p. AirSelfie impresses with a clear and elegantly designed anodized aluminium housing. Driven by brushless motors that enable a height of up to 20 metres, the four extremely small and powerful propellers are integrated into the housing. The Red Dot Jury awarded this small and light drone with the highest distinction of the competition, the Red Dot: Best of the Best.

PowerRay and Titan: exploring the marine world

Drones are not only used onshore, but also serve for the exploration of the marine world. PowerRay, manufactured by PowerVision and designed by Prof. Dr. Feng Fan, is an underwater robot. Equipped with a sonar and a powerful fish finder, the robot can determine the fish distribution and recognise surface shapes. In addition, the user can watch the scenery using Virtual Reality. Furthermore, videos as well as photo shoots can be done in real time. The shape of the robot, which was awarded a Red Dot, is inspired by a sea ray.

Also, the remotely operated underwater vehicle “Titan” can be used to explore the sea world. Equipped with advanced technology, the Red Dot winner can move at a constant speed, rotate 360 degrees and therefore travel in any direction at any time. The product from Shenzhen Geneinno Technology has a 4K ultra-high-resolution camera and can go down to a depth of 150 metres.

Plant protection drone “Xaircraft P30”

Xaircraft P30 is a robust plant protection drone which reduces chemical consumption by 30% and water consumption by 90%. Thanks to the Intelligent Flight Control system and XAI Agricultural Intelligence Engine, the product from XAIRCRAFT, which was awarded a Red Dot, can fly and work precisely, efficiently and completely autonomously. Built for efficiency, both the chemical container and the intelligent battery can be reloaded in seconds during operations. The consumer can use artificial intelligence to determine suitable spray patterns and or predict errors.

Atlas Pro: pure efficiency

Atlas Pro, manufactured by Atlas Dynamics and designed by Ivan Tolchinsky, is an easy to use aircraft, suitable for defence, security and industrial inspection. With 55 minutes of flight time, a 50 km range, a speed of up to 120 km/h and reliable weather resistance, the Red Dot winner is a powerful, small multi-rotor drone. With three engines and a rear pivoting servo, an aerodynamic profile that creates lift and a lightweight full carbon fibre hull, it is especially efficient in terms of flight time, speed and manoeuvrability.

The future of drones

These examples show strikingly that the possibilities for the use of drones are becoming more diverse. This makes it even more exciting to see how the drone technology will develop in the future. The results of the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2019 will show this. Designers and companies from all over the world still have until 1 February 2019 to hand in their products to one of the most renowned design competitions worldwide. Apart from the category “Drones and action cameras”, the applicants can choose between 47 further categories – from fashion and accessories to consumer electronics to vehicles, household helpers and furniture.