Smart devices

Drones Could Last Longer by Acting Like Birds

Yes, drones are great and all that. But like many other great things, they don’t last too much. Their batteries are not designed for lengthy flights and constantly need recharging, as they remain limited to less than an hour.


KAIYU HANG/YALE UNIVERSITY/VICTOR TANGERMANN

New research puts that into a different perspective, though. Apparently, if the drones would perch on the side of a structure on bird-like claws, they could last longer. This totally makes sense, as resting would save the energy otherwise lost by hovering.

“Birds usually fly somewhere and they stay at the top of the roof or some tree branches,” Kaiyu Hang, the roboticist who worked on the research, toldNPR.

The roboticist and his colleagues came up with a bird-inspired concept that imitates the “feet”, the landing gears of the UAVs. The respective claws can allow the drone to perch and rest, and have other benefits too, described in his paper.

It wouldn’t be hard to imagine users taking advantage of this feature to shelter the drone from approaching storms or powerful gusts of wind.

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