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Drones That Perch Like Birds Could Go on Much Longer Flights


The perching drone (center).

Researchers at Yale University have designed an observational aerial drone that can perch like a bird to save energy, using grippers to grab onto anything smaller than its opening width.

Credit: Credit: Yale University, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology/RPL, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Orebro University, University of Hong Kong

Yale University researchers have designed an observational drone that can perch like a bird to save energy, using grippers to grab onto anything smaller than its opening width.

The drone comes with three controllable fingers tipped with "contact modules," or attachments that function as the connecting point to objects.

This allows the drone to switch off two rotors, consuming about 45% less energy.

The vehicle also can grasp a rod and hang upside down, allowing all the rotors to be deactivated; the drone also can rest on a stick, using about 69% less power than hovering.

Yale's Kaiyu Hang said, "Perching and resting can provide lower power consumption, better stability, and larger view ranges in many cases.”

From Technology Review
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