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SmartChutes Automatic Parachute for Multicopters

by Lambert Varias
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Zwier Spanjer became Internet famous back in January when he uploaded a video of himself saving his brand new and expensive quadcopter from falling into a ditch after its battery died. It’s hilarious to watch, but it could have ended horribly. Michael Pick fears the same thing could happen to his quadcopter so he came up with SmartChutes, an automatic parachute deployment system for lightweight multicopters.

smartchutes_automatic_parachute_deployment_for-multicopters_by_michael_pick_1zoom in

SmartChutes supports multicopters that weigh up to 4 lbs. and comes with a carbon fiber mount. When its gyroscope and accelerometer sense that the multicopter is in free fall or has tilted by more than 90º, SmartChutes will automatically deploy its 36″ parachute within 350ms, reducing the risk of damage from impact and hopefully giving you time to go catch your precious copter.

smartchutes_automatic_parachute_deployment_for-multicopters_by_michael_pick_4zoom in

 

If you have any concern about the SmartChute throwing off the balance or stability of your quadcopter, not to worry. Its creator says that it’s so light that drones can easily compensate for the tiny bit of added weight.

smartchutes_automatic_parachute_deployment_for-multicopters_by_michael_pick_3zoom in

smartchutes_automatic_parachute_deployment_for-multicopters_by_michael_pick_2zoom in

Because SmartChutes has its own sensor and battery, it will work even if your multicopter’s own battery runs out or if it goes out of your remote control’s range. And you can force SmartChutes to activate by making your multicopter go into freefall.

Pledge at least $130 (USD) on Kickstarter to receive a SmartChutes unit as a reward. Note that the images and video show Michael’s working prototype; he estimates that the final version will be 30% smaller.

[via Digital Trends]

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