There are drone catchers and then there is Tular – a patented device that can launch and recover drones from any moving vehicle autonomously. And it can do that at speeds of over 65 mph, even during windy conditions! Ready for a deeper look? Let’s go…
So, Tular comes from a Connecticut-based firm called Target Arm. The company is a service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) specializing in drones-on-the-move solutions.
Earlier this year, Target Arm was awarded an innovation grant by the United States Air Force to solve a very difficult aeronautical problem – repeatedly and reliably launching and recovering drones from another airplane. The company is partnering with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to accommodate Tular on military cargo aircraft. The platform can already be integrated into any ground and maritime vehicle – ships, trains, trucks, ATVs, etc.
Let’s see how the Tular drone catcher works…
Okay, at first glimpse, it may look like the drone is being trapped in the jaws of death. But those pins are actually so gentle that they cannot even crack an egg!
Don’t believe us? See for yourself:
Well, the Air Force guys must also be impressed with Target Arm because in a matter of weeks, they doled out a second research grant to the company. This funding was meant to expand Tular’s capabilities to accommodate fixed-wing drones too. As Target Arm’s CEO & founder, Jeffrey McChesney, explained:
With Tular’s very high cycle rates, an operator will be able to autonomously and easily launch and recover both rotary and fixed wing drones at any time, even alternating between them as needed. Our goal is to simplify the drone operator’s effort to a one-button ‘Launch’ or ‘Recover’ – all while on-the-move!
Drone catchers for commercial use
But, let’s be clear. Tular drone catcher is not meant for military operations alone. The company says the drone-agnostic platform’s applications will include package delivery, oil and gas, wind farms, energy, border/port protection, DOT inspections, et al.
McChesney envisions that, in the future, Tular will enable many of us to use our cars and SUVs to launch and recover drones!
Meanwhile, New York’s famous car detailing company Ammo NYC recently got a chance to detail Tular for the Air Force’s Nuclear Munitions Convoy operations team. Their video shows both Tular’s progress and the fantastic work that Ammo NYC has done in great detail. AND, (bonus), they use an FPV system to show us the drone’s perspective while moving in and out of Tular!
So, sit back and relax because we suspect you will enjoy this:
Also see: In a world-first, two guys compete in flying racing cars
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