March 13, 2017

The Next Generation of Drones May Survive Even the Worst Crashes

Drone crash
Although your camera may not be so lucky.

Flying camera drones is a serious endeavor, and drone operators not only need to have expertise to capture the shot, they also need to be aware of the laws regarding the operation of drones in their area. A drone crash is certainly a nightmare scenario, and trained operators are hopefully adroit enough to avoid most disasters, but if a drone does crash, it's likely to suffer some serious damage, and one can only hope the camera survives (and no one was injured).

Now, roboticists at EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland have tackled the idea of creating a drone that can withstand substantial crashes and continue to operate (no word on your camera, though). Taking a cue from insects, this team has created an innovative flexible design that allows the drone to withstand serious impacts. Check out the video below to learn more about their design.

The ingenuity of the EPFL drone design is how they have made the drone rigid for flight right up until the moment of impact, then enabling the drone to squish to absorb the opposing force applied to the drone during a crash. Not only does this design improve the functionality and durability of the drone, it also improves the safety of the drone should it come into contact with a human being. Researchers at Virginia Tech continue to study the impact of drone collisions with humans to continue to improve research in this area, as well.

We'll have to wait and see how soon this innovative design from EPFL will be incorporated into commercially available drones, but we're certainly intrigued by this design's promise.      

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This was interesting, however... very little of this will likely pass the cost / benefit test. Lets face it, drone crash victims are hardly filling up the ER's. Now what did bring back a bad memory was the first picture! ...I had a DJI Phantom commit suicide from several hundred feet ... i picked it up with a broom! .... DJI customer service said thanks for sharing your story ! (not kidding) .... ahh good times :-)

March 14, 2017 at 8:47AM

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