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Technology

New system uses bird-like claws to help drones fly longer

Though drones are flexible and can squeeze into narrow spaces, they aren’t really capable of longer flight times. R
Published May 7, 2019

Though drones are flexible and can squeeze into narrow spaces, they aren’t really capable of longer flight times. Researchers have developed a drone having bird-like claws due to which they can extend their battery life and fly longer.

A research team of roboticists claim that by perching on the side of buildings with bird-like claws, drones can stay out and fly for lengthy time periods as it would require less energy as compared to hovering in mid-air.

“Birds usually fly somewhere and they stay at the top of the roof or some tree branches,” one of the roboticist Kaiyu Hang told NPR. “Then they look for their prey or they just stay there without flapping their wings all the time and they can still observe what is happening around them.”

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According to Futurism, the team came up with a new bird-inspired design for a drone that would as the machine’s ‘modularized landing gears’. The claws are designed to extend and save battery power by letting the drone to both perch and rest by either grabbing on to a branch or pole where it will turn off its engines and make observations.

Video Courtesy: Kaiyu Hang/Yale University

The new system also provides a way of landing when there isn’t any proper place to land. “We have developed a modularized landing gear framework that allows the drone to not only perch on some structures, but also rest on some structures when perching is not possible,” Hang said.

Video Courtesy: Kaiyu Hang/Yale University

Researchers explained that not only will this design help save battery, but also save the drones from natural calamities. “If you perch, for example, underneath a bridge or underneath the eaves of a building you can ride out storms or bad weather that would make it hard to fly,” researcher Mark Cutkosky told NPR.

However, the system does have a few issues to be dealt with for now. The addition of new landing system has added weight to the drone, hence needing more energy to stay aloft. Also, for now a human has to fly the drone onto the perch site. The team now aims to integrate the drone with on-board cameras.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019

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