This Drone Can Be Fired Straight Out Of A Canon Into The Air
Aadhya Khatri - Nov 22, 2019
To get the drone up and flying, the team uses a pneumatic baseball pitching machine that has been modified to suit this particular use
- DJI Mavic Mini Is The Cheap Drone That Anyone Can Fly
- The Massive 'VoloDrone' Can Carry Up To 200 Kilograms Of Payload
- Autonomous Camera Drones Can Now Film Like A Hollywood Director
Drones have proven their various applications, but a challenge remains, how you can get them in the air, especially when it is windy, and you are in a crowded place.
To deal with this problem, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA and experts of Caltech University have come up with the idea to shoot the drone out of a canon.
The embodiment of this idea is SQUID (stand for Streamlined Quick Unfolding Investigation Drone). It measures 27 centimeters and weighs 530 grams. The drone features four rotor arms that can start operating after the maximum of a tenth of second after it is shot.
To get the drone up and flying, the team uses a pneumatic baseball pitching machine that has been modified to suit this particular use. The speed of the machine is estimated to be around 35 miles an hour. In their paper, the team said that the rotors could work after just 200 milliseconds. They also shared that in less than a second, the drone could fly stably in the air.
The idea of firing it from a canon-like machine has another advantage. This method allows the quadcopter to be shot out of a moving vehicle. In the demonstrating video, it was launched from the back of a truck running at 50 miles per hour.
The list of applications of this launching method is long. It can be used on battlefields to surveil the surrounding areas without the vehicle stops.
This is not the first time the idea of shooting a drone out to get it in the air is tested. Still, the ability of earlier concepts, like Raytheon’s LOCUST, is limited as it used fixed-wings, which restrains its maneuverability.
The team said that SQUID was indeed a success, and they were looking into designs for larger drones and task-specific ones for Titan and Mars.