Engineers from the US, China and Sweden, has created a drone capable of use as a footprint of branches and other oblong objects, writes the Chronicle.info with reference to Golos.Ua
Article describing the development and experiments published in the journal Science Robotics.
After fixing on the subject of drone may disable one or more electric motors with screws, and thus spend less energy, while continuing to fulfill its mission – for example, to observe with the camera.
In most cases, the multicopter used for surveillance and other operations, during which the machine hangs at a relatively high altitude, inaccessible for humans. But the duration of the flight modern electric multicopters is a few tens of minutes (usually about an hour), and hybrid drones working on the engine-generator set, have a lower payload mass. Typically, engineers solve this problem by increasing the capacity of the battery.
The group under the leadership of Zhang Fu (Zhang Fu) from Hong Kong University decided to increase the duration of stay of a drone at altitude, reducing power consumption by main consumers in the multicopter – motors. Since under normal conditions the reduction of energy consumption will lead to loss of traction and the fall of Drona, the developers used a different approach taken by birds and other flying animals. They offered to equip the drone “feet” that allow the apparatus to cling to the branches, edges of buildings and other items, and use them as a support, to turn off one or more engines.
The design of the “legs” does not require to create a special drone and allows you to secure it to the bottom of the hull of most serial multi-rotors. It consists of a base on which are mounted three arc-shaped plate. Their ends are fixed various devices, allowing Drona partially or completely locking itself on other objects: two identical hook on two legs with one hand and stop. Two hooks allow the drone to cling to the thin walls and completely shut down the engines. Stops are necessary for the machine to stabilize its position and to disable some of the engines with the propellers located above the stop. In addition, the drone can be attached to the elongated object such as a tree branch with his legs around them. After that, he can disable all the motors and roll over.
The developers showed the advantage of their approach by measuring the energy required Drona to maintain balance and keep themselves in one place. In the case that the drone wraps around a branch or engages a hook for something, it can completely disable all rotors. In other cases it will be wasting energy, but much less. For example, when using the subject as a support he can turn off two of the engine or left on everything, but significantly reduce the rod bolts.
Experiments have shown that the design allows to reduce energy expenditure on maintaining the drone in several times in comparison with the usual hanging in the air. In addition, it allows to reduce the vibrations of the drone in hand, which can be useful when using it for shooting.