Category: Drone design

Flying Generator Drone Breaks Two-Hour Barrier

A world of opportunity is awaiting the drone that can fly for over 45 minutes. Here is a version that can fly 100 miles on one gallon of fuel, carrying a gallon of payload. It can hopscotch anywhere in its range and become a small electric generator. This is good news. Flight time is one of the most annoying and brutal barriers, governed by energy-density versus weight, recharge speeds, and availability of peak power for […]

Drone Slices, Dices, and Makes Julienne Fries

Simultaneously competing in the category of Most Versatile and Narrowest Patent, this latest patent application throws the proverbial Kitchen Sink into the drone world. Basing its priority on a 2002 Provisional patent application, having gone through not one, not two, but seventeen Continuation patent applications, this application is a testament to how not to use the patent system. At its core, it’s a good invention: a drone with a built-in parachute, tiltable propellers, waterproof body, […]

DJI’s Answer to EM Interference: No Touching

Straight from the depths of ‘duh’, comes this peculiar patent application for separation of electromagnetic interference-causing flight controllers and sensitive sensors that would be useless if in proximity of EM interference. DJI proposes to distance the guts of the controller from the sensor between 3 cm and up to 50 cm away, even if that means putting the sensor on a mast (or an “extension member”). According to the application, “operation of navigational, surveillance or […]

DJI’s Inspiring Patent Application

We’ve all oohed and awed over DJI’s Inspire’s 360-degree camera pan without the gear getting in the way of the shot, but did you know that the design can also “increase the functional space of a coupled payload”? From the reading of the patent application, the camera is only a part of what this thing can do. As the patent says, “existing unmanned aerial vehicle designs can be less than ideal for providing unobstructed viewing […]

Improved VTOL Coaxial Blades

The Osprey is a problematic animal. Not the bird, the aircraft. It took many years and 36 lives (to date) to design a tilt-propeller ship that can take off like a helicopter and fly like an airplane. What if there is a better design? King Abdullah of Jordan thinks so. A recently-granted US Patent discloses a VTOL vehicle that can take off like a helicopter and presumably fly like a plane. The design, using coaxial counter-rotating […]

UAS-In-A-Box Adapts to Various Missions

When you leave your base for the field and plan to use a long-range drone, you pack a long-range drone. It will have characteristics of a UAV designed for long, continuous flight and will be able to stay up for a while. However, it will have the maneuverability of a bucket of gravel. What if your mission parameters change in mid-stream, and you need a drone with way more pep, agility, and a smaller girth? […]

Micro-Drone Rolls, Flies, Gathers Intel

Although this looks like a toy called the “Sky Walker”, this drone is far from it. The Applicant, l’INSTITUT SUPERIEUR DE L’AERONAUTIQUE ET DE L’ESPACE, funded by the French Ministry of Defense, has invented a little drone to gather recon inside buildings. It was built as a “multi-mission microscale aerial vehicle. It comprises elements allowing a microscale aerial vehicle to move or roll across a surface, in particular on the ground, and making it capable […]

Falling Drone Damage Limited Thanks to Autorotation

Autorotation landing for a drone means a softer impact at crash.

Disney’s “Flixel” Drone will Replace Fireworks

With the wrangling over whether it’s safe to fly a drone through fireworks (http://www.wired.com/2015/07/youre-thinking-flying-drone-fireworks/), Disney thought about the idea from a different angle. Their patent application mentions how dangerous fireworks can be, and a swarm of drones with lampshades is not. If you thought about flying your Phantom through fireworks was ballsy, try it with a swarm of Flixels. It might feel like piloting the Millennium Falcon through a flaming asteroid belt. Here is an […]

Aquacopters Presents a Waterproof, Indestructible Drone

If there is anything I’ve learned from my failures to land, it’s the fragility of cheap consumer drones. Aquacopters to the rescue! This thing is basically a sealed fortress, waterproof and shockproof. It can fly in bad weather, land and take off in water, and still take more punishment. The specification says it can be made of Kydex, so you know it’s got ‘tude. There is also known the Game of Drones (gameofdrones.com), which lets […]

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