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Image credit: Imperial College London

'Flying fish’ drone actually explodes out of the water

The AquaMAV is propelled by a gas explosion.
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Imperial College London

Drones that can both swim and fly are no longer in the distant future. Imperial College London's Aerial Robotics Lab built a concept for multimodal swimming robot it calls AquaMAV that can jump out of water. The scientists behind AquaMAV presented their findings in a paper published this week in Science Robotics.

According to IEE Spectrum, the AquaMAV combines combustible power and water in order to propel itself. The drone contains calcium carbide powder. When mixed with water, the drone creates acetylene gas, which then gets funneled into a combustion chamber along with air and water. When ignited, the mixture then explodes, forcing the water out of the combustion chamber and propelling the drone into air.

The AquaMAV can fly up to 26 meters in the air, and creates so much force it can even propel itself out of choppy waters. Scientists believe it can be used to collect water samples during natural disasters such as floods or to monitor ocean pollution. You can watch the AquaMAV in action in the video below.

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