Putting out fires in high-rise buildings can pose all kinds of challenges. Beyond using sprinklers inside of the building, it can be very difficult for firefighting equipment to reach floors that are taller than the pressurized fire hoses.
Fathers and sons do it, people do it in the park with their dogs, and Baseball players do it professionally, so why not let the robots get in on a fun game of catch? They want in on this human pastime too.
We’ve seen quadcopters and robots that can fly and walk (or roll), and one that can swim and walk. The Naviator drone on the other hand is equally adept at flying and swimming underwater.
Prof. Javier Diez and several of his students at Rutgers University’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering have been working on the Naviator for years, but it took off earlier this year when they received $618,000 (USD) from the United States’ Office of Naval Research (ONR), who were apparently extremely impressed by the prototype.
The ONR hopes to someday use such a drone to look for underwater mines and enemies as well as inspect underwater structures such as those in piers, bridges and oil platforms.
Even though consumer UAVs are becoming smarter and easier to use, they can still cause physical harm. Just last month a baby lost one of his eyes because he was accidentally hit by a quadcopter’s propeller.
NASA is very serious about sending humans to Mars someday. I can only hope that I am around to see that landing, it will be awesome. There are many challenges to putting us on Mars. One of the most basic issues is how to get enough food and water there to support exploration of the Red Planet.
Once the challenges of getting there and surviving are tackled, NASA needs ways to help humans explore the massive planet.
Different multirotors have different strengths and weaknesses, but they all share a common bottleneck: batteries. For its Yeair! quadcopter, a company called Airstier went around the problem by using good ol’ combustion engines.
Each of the quadcopter’s propellers has a 600w electric motor and a 1.6kW
Most quadcopters and consumer drones have a central case that holds its other electronics and rotors branching out of it. But Ascent AeroSystems’ Sprite looks like a toy propeller, with two pairs of rotors mounted on top of a tubular frame.
Ascent Aero didn’t just design the Sprite to stand out; its unique form lends to its portability and durability.
Scientists from the NASA AMES Research Center and Stanford University are working on an interesting new drone that is designed to be biodegradable. The idea is that if the drone is on a mission watching someone on the down low and crashes, it will melt away into the environment.
Like many electronic devices, remote-controlled aircraft and other UAV have to deal with their batteries’ limited capacity, which often translates to just a few minutes of flight time. That might not be such a big deal if you’re using a UAV just for fun, but it could be a headache for commercial or industrial applications.
Like Amazon, it appears Google has been mulling the use of drones to deliver goods. The company recently unveiled its Project Wing, a system that uses drones with the goal of delivering goods within two minutes after an order is placed.
Sports enthusiasts love drones because they allow them to take shots that would otherwise be impossible or expensive for them to make. The AirDog takes drones’ usefulness and efficiency to another level by eliminating the need for a cameraman.
Talk about letting your imagination fly. Illlustrating the capabilities of 3D printing pens, Matt Quest used a 3D AirPen to doodle a tiny quadcopter frame and combined it with parts from an RC Eye One micro quadcopter.
Last year we saw a drone camera system that streamed live 3D video that can be viewed through the Oculus Rift headset. Diego Araos wrote a program that not only lets you use the Rift to view the feed from a Parrot AR.Drone
While flying drones are often associated with military missions or espionage, the ability to send small payloads through the air under remote control opens up possibilities for all kinds of other interesting applications. In fact, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) could change everything from the way we provide emergency services in disasters to how your pizza is delivered. Here are just a few technologies in the works that could send tiny aircraft into our skies in the not-too-distant future.
Nah, just kidding. This quadcopter is armed with only the famous holiday plant. Designer George Zisiadis and his friend Mustafa Khan flew the drone – it looks like Parrot’s AR.Drone, but I’m not 100% sure – above San Francisco, California’s Union Square to get passersby to smooch.
Flyonix specializes in aerial video and photography. The studio recently put their knowledge of drones for a geeky pursuit. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, Flyonix set out to build and fly a life-size TARDIS.