Latest in Gear

Image credit:

'Flying saucer' drone can fly twice as long as regular models

Flybotix's drone is designed for tricky inspections and search and rescue work.
Steve Dent, @stevetdent
July 16, 2019
2 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

EPFL/Flybotix

The biggest problem with drones is their lack of endurance, but Swiss researchers have developed a new model that helps reduce that problem. Eschewing the regular four blade design, EPFL startup Flybotix's drone has just two propellers, letting it fly twice as long as regular models. It's just as easy to pilot as a standard UAV, but the increased longevity and small size makes it ideal for inspecting dangerous areas or doing search and rescue in a collapsed building, for instance.

The Flybotix drone has a 30 cm (12 inches) wide cowl, with two props stacked one on top of the other, turning in opposite directions. That considerably reduces drag while increasing efficiency compared to four-blade designs. The problem, though, is that such craft tend to be unstable and difficult to handle.

That's where the digital control systems come in. The team developed a simple, algorithm-powered stabilization mechanism that calculates how much to offset the rotation and tilt of each prop for maneuvering or straight flight. That makes it as easy to pilot as any other drone using conventional joystick controls.

With a relatively small size and foam coating that can absorb mild collisions, the drone is ideal for inspecting dangerous, hard to reach areas, said research lead Samir Bouabdallah. "This technology can also be used in other applications like public safety, law enforcement and [any] applications where miniaturization of drones is necessary," he added.

Flybotix long-endurance dual-prop drone

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
2 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Peter Parker has been recast in ‘Marvel’s Spider-Man: Remastered’

Peter Parker has been recast in ‘Marvel’s Spider-Man: Remastered’

View
Here's everything Google announced at its Pixel 5 event

Here's everything Google announced at its Pixel 5 event

View
The Aura Strap adds new tricks to your Apple Watch

The Aura Strap adds new tricks to your Apple Watch

View
Windows 10 for ARM will support 64-bit x64 apps through emulation

Windows 10 for ARM will support 64-bit x64 apps through emulation

View
Google's Pixel 5 includes 5G and an ultrawide camera for $699

Google's Pixel 5 includes 5G and an ultrawide camera for $699

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr