In nature, birds have the ability to adapt to different flight conditions and its surroundings. A collaboration between the University of Zurich and EPFL Lausanne has resulted in a foldable morphing quadrotor drone that can change its shape and size to different tasks, for example, to traverse horizontal and vertical gaps whilst inspecting structures or transporting objects allowing it to explore inaccessible environments and help rescuers during their missions.
The foldable drone is composed of a mainframe and an intelligent flight controller that enables four independently rotating arms that do not require any symmetry for flight. Equipped to operate independently, the on-board computer runs all the algorithms necessary to fly on two cameras used for localization and exploration allowing the drone to decide on an optimal control strategy that dynamically changes its shape to adapt to specific tasks or environmental conditions.
The Takeaway: Surely a precursor to a new generation of drones that we will see in the not too distant future.
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