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Thursday, February 9, 2023

The Donut Shaped Drone for Difficult Spaces

donut shaped drone Cleo Robotics TacDronut, DronutCleo Robotics Awarded $2.5M Contract to Develop Tactical Drone for U.S. Army

by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M. Crosby

Dronut developer Cleo Robotics has been awarded a $2.5M contract by the U.S. Army’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) for the delivery of a number of prototype Tactical Dronut (TacDronut) systems for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capability.

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The contract was awarded following the technology’s selection during an Army Innovation Day competition evaluation of groundbreaking technologies.

“Partnering with a company like Cleo Robotics allows the Army RCCTO to bring disruptive capabilities to the warfighter,” said Robert Monto, Jr., deputy director of Critical Technologies Office (CTO) and Advanced Concepts and Experimentation (ACE) of the Army RCCTO. “Working through our Innovation Day process paired this approach to a unit of action,”

Based on Cleo’s Dronut, the TacDronut is a rugged portable sUAS that suits the needs of Soldiers requiring a drone capable of operating within enclosed spaces. Capable of enduring impact without taking damage and operating in both GPS enabled and GPS denied environments, the Dronut features a highly capable and adaptable onboard intelligence and sensor payload. Following the prototype’s successful demonstration with the 82nd Airborne Division, the Army will transition the TacDronut as an ISR capability for the dismounted Soldier.

“The TacDronut sUAS project was selected as part of the Army RCCTO Advance Concepts and Experimentation (ACE) office’s Army mission to rapidly develop, test, and transition advanced technologies to address high priority items for the Warfighter,” said Army RCCTO ACE office project lead Nathan Rozea. “This project’s goal is to improve air platform kinematics in support of indoor and outdoor short-range operations in complex environments to help mitigate operational gaps involving the clearing of buildings, potential tunnels, and other enclosed spaces that are incredibly challenging for our Warfighters.”

“We developed the Dronut specifically to operate in challenging environments and provide lifesaving intelligence and information, so the TacDronut program is a natural progression for this technology,” said Cleo Robotics founder and CEO Omar Eleryan. “This endorsement by the U.S. Army is a great testament to the groundbreaking technology we’re building, and we’re thrilled to be working with the Army RCCTO team and Soldiers from an elite group like the 82nd Airborne Division.”

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Ian attended Dominican University of California, where he received a BA in English in 2019. With a lifelong passion for writing and storytelling and a keen interest in technology, he is now contributing to DroneLife as a staff writer.


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