For surveillance and rescue purposes, the smaller the drone is, the better. Instead of trying to make a commercial quadcopter unseen or shoving it through cracks and debris, students from U Penn have found a way to make a drone so small, you can barely see it. It’s called Piccolissimo #actionmagic
Piccolissimo is advertised as a self-powered, controllable flying robot with the size of a quarter. It has only two moving parts – a propeller and a 3D printed body. The tiny drone starts moving when both spin in different directions. If you make the body turn 40 times per second, it will cause lift off. Playing with spin speed will then result in Piccolissimo changing directions, effectively flying.
People can control such a tiny drone through a signal send over an infrared beam. Now, this toy drone may be fascinating for kids, but you’re probably wondering how it will prove itself useful for adults. In a future where drones will provide medical aid and rescue people, this electronic “fly” could be the first one to perform a recon.
Matt Piccoli, the creator, says his drone can’t handle more than a gram worth of payload, but it would be enough to carry a sensor. If more were controlled in a coordinated fashion, they would be able to capture footage and vital information from the place of a natural disaster or a terrorist act. It certainly would be more financially wise to use such a simple UAV instead of a highly performant but equally sensitive one.