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5 Drone Tech Stories to Get You Through the Weekend

BY Tres Crow
24 April 2020

Keeping up with the latest drone technology news can seem impossible sometimes. Fortunately you have us, and we’ve spent all week hunting for the best stories around the drone world, and gathered them all right here just for you!

Let’s take a look at what the last week has delivered, shall we?

Swiss researchers create a drone that can go all of the ways

Tiltrotor drone from ETH Zurich

Image Credit DroneDJ

Our friends over at DroneDJ reported on this incredibly stable new research drone, which can fly in any direction or attitude.

From the article:

The average drone can usually only hover in one position, but an experimental omnidirectional drone built by engineers from ETH Zurich have turned that convention on its head, side, and any other direction you’d like.

This omnidirectional drone can hover and fly in any attitude. As if in zero-G, “up” and “down” are mere suggestions to this innovative UAV. Just watch the official research video below and you’ll see exactly what we mean.

The video of this thing are insane, so head on over and see what all the fuss is about.

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Security enthusiasts hate drones

Drones for infrastructure security

Image Credit Unsplash

Ok, maybe the headline is a little harsh, but this week saw a slew of security and facilities mags running with anti-drone technology articles. Personally, I can’t imagine why anyone would have a problem with these cuddly flying lawnmowers, but to each their own, I suppose.

Facility Executive took a look at some emerging anti-drone technologies in this blog:

Anti-drone radar technology, for example, can be deployed to detect and identify objects that have the signature of a drone. These radar systems look for certain markers that would classify an object as a drone, such as its size and the way it is behaving. It should be able to distinguish between an object of nature, such as a bird, or a drone.

And the good folks at Security Sales & Integration Magazine had this to say about how new technologies can be used to secure critical infrastructure:

Traditional security leaves a gap in the lower airspace, exposing a vulnerability in which drones can penetrate with ease. For example, environmental protesters have used drones to interrupt operations at nuclear plants. Border patrol agents are seemingly powerless against drones surveying vulnerabilities and delivering drugs. Military installations must also have a program in place to assess their lower airspace activity, gather information to hold trespassers accountable for damages caused by their intrusion.

Meet the engineers trying to emulate insect flight in drones

Image Credit BBC

Engineers in Europe are working on a variety of new prototypes that eschew the current rotor or fixed wing set-up of drones for a more life-like form. The BBC ran with the story, which details how several researchers have taken dragonfly wings as their inspiration for a new type of micro-drone.

From the article:

Known as Skeeter, the secretive project has cracked the challenge of using flapping wings to power a drone. While wings are more efficient than a propeller and allow a dragonfly to hover in the face of strong gusts they are almost impossible for human engineers to emulate.

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UPS looking to go big with their drone delivery tech

UPS Flight Forward heavy lift drone

Image Credit UPS

On the complete opposite side of the spectrum, UPS has partnered with the German-based Wingcoptor to create a heavy lift drone that will be able to deliver loads more than 55lbs. Need to send your kid off to Grandma’s house for a few hours? No problem, UPS will be able to just come and grab ’em up, and off they go. Ok, I made that last bit up, but the new partnership looks very promising and you should definitely check it out at the link below.

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DARPA eyes drone swarm technology

drone swarms like flocks of birds

Image Credit Unsplash

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has tapped 9 companies to develop drone swarm technologies in 5 key areas: swarm tactics, swarm autonomy, human-swarm teaming, virtual environment, and physical test bed.

From the article:

Four of the participants will be tackling the swarm tactics portion of the sprint, where they will be asked to solve problems such as “disrupting the opposition’s decision making, obfuscating swarm intent, updating maps of a dynamic environment, and maintaining the swarm’s communications indoors.”

So, if swarms of coordinating flying robots is something you’re into, then this article has everything you could want.

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Alright, folks. That’s it for this week, but if you’re looking for more drone news sign up for our free weekly newsletter at the button below, and every Saturday we’ll drop a megaton of drone industry news right into your inbox.

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