Drone research Stories June 25

Measuring the growth of a Brazilian Rainforest can be a big challenge, however, an international team of researchers uses lidar-equipped drones as low-cost data collectors to monitor the forest restoration. The researchers have developed a drone that is equipped with three-dimensional laser scanning and hyperspectral imaging systems and that is capable of producing high-resolution maps and collecting hundreds of images at different wavelengths for any given area. With the drones, larger areas of the forest can be observed more efficiently than was previously done with researchers on the ground. The unmanned aircraft also have an advantage over lidar-equipped airplanes, which are more expensive to run and more complicated to organize.

You can find more articles about drones being used for research here.

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Drone research Stories October 25, 2018

FlyCroTugs: Small wasp-inspired drone can pull 40 times its own weight

The FlyCroTugs, Developed in the labs of Mark Cutkosky, the Fletcher Jones Chair in the School of Engineering at Stanford University, and Dario Floreano at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland, are small drones that can pull 40 times their own weight. The name derives from Flying MiCro Tugging and the small unmanned aircraft are inspired by wasps and geckos. Wasps can drag much larger prey away by using a special structure on their feet called an arolium. It helps them to get grip on a surface. Geckos have a similar ability to find grip on very smooth surfaces although they use a different technique. The FlyCroTugs drones took inspiration from both the wasps and geckos and it allows them to drag items that are far too heavy to carry. If a task is too big for a single drone, FlyCroTugs can team up and achieve extraordinary results, such as opening a door. See the video below.

Drone research Stories October 8, 2018

Tests performed at the University of Dayton Research Institute’s Impact Physics Lab show that even the impact of a small drone, like a DJI Phantom can have severe consequences. The tests were designed to mimic a midair collision at 238 mph. A 2.1-pound DJI Phantom 2 drone was launched into the wing of a Mooney M20 aircraft. As you can see in the video below, the drone did not shatter upon impact but tore open the leading edge of the wing. It entered the wing’s structure and damaged the main spar, posing a risk to manned aircraft.

10/8/18: The article was updated with a longer version video about the test.

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DJI Mavic Pro

Drone research Stories August 13, 2018

We reported briefly on Ocean Alliance before, but this video that the non-profit organization provided us with is simply too good not to be shared. The drone footage of the whales is amazing and also the innovative way these researchers have been able to use drones, is a great example of how these unmanned aircraft can be used for good in the world. DJI has acknowledged this as well and is an official partner for the not-for-profit. The organization uses an Inspire drone, called the SnotBot to capture the droplets with DNA as the whales exhale by flying the drone through the spray. Fascinating stuff!

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Drone research Stories July 5, 2018

Harshwardhan Zala, a 15-year-old boy from the city of Ahmedabad in India, has a passion for saving lives across the globe. Zala has built drones that detect landmines and already has a handful of patents at his young age. The South Korean army has shown interest in his company, Areobotics7 Tech Solutions, and the technology he has invented.

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Drone research Stories May 16, 2018

Every spring, in what is one of the world’s largest migrations, thousands of great white sharks swim from along America’s West Coast to an area in the Pacific Ocean that is half-way in between San Diego and Hawaii. The area is about the size of Colorado and is known among marine biologists as the White Shark Cafe. Not much was known as to why the marine predators hang out here or what they are up to. However, this year we finally got some answers as two Saildrones were sent out there to monitor the great whites.

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