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Saturday, July 02, 2022

Quadcopter Drone does Air, Water, Over and Under, Even Hitches a ride.

 Expecting  many more updates in drone autonomy, flexibility

A quadcopter that works in the air and underwater and also has a suction cup for hitching a ride on a host   by Bob Yirka , in TechXplore

A team of researchers at Beihang University, working with colleagues at Imperial College London and Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, has developed a quadcopter drone that is capable of flying in the air and maneuvering underwater. It also has a suction cup for hitching a ride on a host. They describe their drone in the journal Science Robotics.

Over the past several years, quadcopters have become a consumer product. And while the technology behind them is quite impressive, one drawback is their inability to survive a water landing. In this new effort, the researchers have not only overcome that problem, but they have also given their robot the ability to maneuver underwater and to hitch itself to undersea creatures.

Noting that quadcopters can still only fly for short periods of time, the researchers looked into the feasibility of a drone that could hitch a ride, similar to the remora fish. Remoras have a suction disc that allows them to attach to other fish, sharks and whales, thus conserving energy. To that end, the researchers created a suction disc modeled after the one sported by the remora.  ..... 

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