Folding Drone Unfurls in Fraction of a Second

2015-08-10

Folding Drone Unfurls in Fraction of a Second
Engineering teams around the world are putting significant time, effort and research dollars into the idea of using aerial drones in disaster relief scenarios. It makes a lot of sense: Drones are able to fly into dangerous or inaccessible locations and — outfitted with cameras and communications gear can provide reconnaissance imagery of a disaster site or even make initial contact with survivors.

One of the impediments to deploying drones, however, is that they tend to be unwieldy in terms of transport and launch. A new project underway in Europe hopes to solve this issue by way of a pocket-sized, fold-up drone that’s easy to transport and can self-deploy in seconds.


Developed by a team of researchers at the Swiss university EPFL, the drones fold into the shape of a trapezoid when not in use, wrapping horizontally around the body of the device and making them easier to package and transport. When activated, the force of the spinning rotors pop out the articulated arms, which are held in place by small magnets.

Inspired by origami, the design allows for the drone to unfurl and self-deploy within a third of a second. The arms are made from lightweight fiberglass and polyester and, once the rotors are fully extended, the upper section shifts horizontally and locks into place.

Cyborg Roaches Could Find Disaster Survivors

To maintain stability, two of the quadcopters rotors must turn clockwise, with the other two turning counter-clockwise. A sensor detects when the rotors are fully extended, then reverses the spinning direction within 50 milliseconds. The process is also designed to be reversible, although the prototype version still needs to be folded back into place by hand.

The design team is already working on a version that would fold back up on its own, along with additional improvements to allow for increased carrying weight and strength.



Drone World Expo  Exclusive Board Member Interviews

2015-11-04
Drone World Expo Exclusive Board Member Interviews

To find out what inspires their interest in UAS and attracts the Advisory Board Members to support Drone World Expo, we scheduled a series of exclusive interviews. Our eleventh interviewee is Gretchen West, Senior Advisor of Innovation and Technology at Hogan Lovells.

US DoT Seeks Public Comments on UAS Registration

2015-10-26
US DoT Seeks Public Comments on UAS Registration

In a surprise move, DOT just published a document,Clarification of the Applicability of Aircraft Registration Requirements for UAS and Request for Information Regarding Electronic Registration for UAS, to the Federal Register. DOT is soliciting recommendations on all aspects of the UAS registration process, including which UAS should be exempt from the registration requirement.

UK Military Aviation Authority to Update Unmanned Operations Guidelines

2015-10-20
UK Military Aviation Authority to Update Unmanned Operations Guidelines
The UK’s Military Aviation Authority is preparing the release of an updated version of its regulations on unmanned air vehicles, which will draw on feedback from a first document that was released last January.

Drones are providing film and TV viewers a new perspective on the action

2015-10-09
Drones are providing film and TV viewers a new perspective on the action

Adazed and bloodied student who had just been mugged stumbled down a darkened alleyway in a slum. He lifted his shirt, revealing a gaping wound, before collapsing on the ground as curious onlookers gathered around.

 Air National Guard wants to Fly MQ-9 Reaper from Syracuses Hancock Airport

2015-10-04
Air National Guard wants to Fly MQ-9 Reaper from Syracuses Hancock Airport
The Air National Guard wants to fly remotely piloted aircrafts out of Hancock Field at the Syracuse International Airport. The change would save time and money, as the National Guard has to send its aircrafts to fly from Fort Drum because of airspace restrictions.

NASA Grant Supports Wildfire Research

2015-09-29
NASA Grant Supports Wildfire Research

Two Northwest Nazarene University assistant professors have been awarded a NASA grant to support their research on wildfire monitoring and assessment technology.
Assistant professor of computer science Dale Hamilton and associate professor of computer science Barry Myers weer awarded a NASA EPSCoR (experimental program to stimulate competitive research) Undergraduate Research Grant

RPAS Environmental Protection Demo in Wales

2015-09-25
RPAS Environmental Protection Demo in Wales

QinetiQ is to demonstrate the use of Remotely Piloted Air Systems (RPAS) in tackling environmental issues in a one-week project on the Welsh coast in November 2015.

Lethal drones are the industry's latest headache

2015-09-21
Lethal drones are the industry's latest headache
Earlier this summer, a Connecticut man rigged a handgun to the top of an unmanned aircraft, posting a video of the device hovering in the woods and firing shots. The spectacle raised more concern about how consumers or law enforcement could wreak havoc with drones, a fast-growing technology with immense potential.

 FALCON  Internet for the Battlespace

2015-09-18
FALCON Internet for the Battlespace
The BAE Systems designed Falcon system gives the British Army and Royal Air Force a real advantage in the digital age. Falcon is a fully deployable, tactical communications system with an impressive ability to interface with a wide range of other systems. This means that voice, data and video information can now be shared securely across the battlespace using one common system.

Drones take flight at Husker Harvest Days

2015-09-16
Drones take flight at Husker Harvest Days
Farming and ranching is ready for takeoff.
Husker Harvest Days, an annual state fair of agricultural information and technology, launched its first demonstrations Tuesday of unmanned aircraft systems, also known as drones.


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