Imagine a delivery service which is not dependent on traffic. EPFL developed a drone which can carry
parcels of up to 500 grams (~2 pounds). Their drone is made to avoid obstacles, and it can go to unorthodox places (steeps, high terrains). It has a cage which can protect it, and the design is foldable which means that you can take it with you in your backpack and use it anywhere.
Applications of it’s use are huge. Imagine having to take medicine, first aid supplies, food to a remote location. There are those who will definitely benefit and come to depend on that kind of service (especially the health and courier industries). That will make companies pop up and push to develop even more sophisticated models just to keep up with this new branch.
This particular drone, is equipped with several innovations which make it’s usage perfectly safe and easy all with the funding of NCCR Robotics.
So the drone becomes the package which wraps around the cargo before liftoff. It’s carbon-fiber cage is foldable and it protects both the drone and the shipment from collisions, or fails. As a bonus, you can catch it mid-flight simply because the propellers are inside the cage which is equipped with a turn-off feature once the lid is opened.
You can fold and unfold the frame in a single move which allows it’s volume to be reduced by 92% in order for you to place it in your backpack.
An accurate, self-flying drone
Range of the drone is more or less ~2 kilometars (both vertically and horizontally).
It has specially designed self-flying software to program the delivery. A flight path is created to make sure that obstacles (trees and buildings for example) are avoided. Plus, you can track it real time on a tablet or a smartphone. Once the drop is finished, it comes back to you on it’s own. The drone itself also has a safety system, to prevent it from being hacked.
The drone — a multicopter with four propellers — can take off and land vertically, which enhances its accuracy. And it can carry a package weighing up to 500 grams over a distance of 2 kilometers.
“This project is a work in progress — in addition to strengthening its ability to detect and avoid objects, we are exploring possibilities to increase the drone’s payload capacity and enhance its autonomy, “says Przemyslaw Kornatowski, who developed the drone. “Throughout the summer, we tested our human-friendly, drone-delivery system on the EPFL campus, delivering items to people over 150 test flights.” The drone will also have a parachute to increase its safety in the event of a breakdown.
Original article here.