Description: You’re an innovator. A person who embraces new technology, like drones. And you want to build a custom drone for your company. But how will you ever learn all the complicated steps to creating a flying machine? Soon, you won’t need to.
The Massachusetts Institute of Techonolgy’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab is working on developing a flexible drone system that will do all the technical stuff - allowing amateur drone users to create unique, custom drones that are guaranteed to fly. The unmanned aerial vehicles are designed on a computer program, where size, shape, strength, and the number of rotors and where they’re placed can be tailored to the designer’s needs.
But the more complex the drone’s shape and rotor placement becomes, the more complex it becomes to stabilize it.
That’s why the program then runs a simulation to make sure the drone will actually be able to get off the ground, hover, and land safely, so a pilot knows their drone will work before they even order the parts.
The lead author on MIT’s team of five is PhD student Tao Du, who says applications for the system could include videography and delivery.
“Generally people use a quadcopter or octcopter or hexacopter to deliver. So let’s say you have a very long or very thin package that you might want to have a more irregular design so ti is more stable when it flies.
"So that brings us ideas that might want to design some irregular drones invert specific situations. So that’s basically our motivation for the project.”
Although the team has built a few working prototypes, Du says the system is still in research stages, and it’s too early to discuss whether it will be commercially available. But he’s excited about the future.
“Personally, I’m just very happy to see more and more people are interested in drone development and drone design, and I believe there is a very big future in this market.”
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For more drone innovation, check out this teen drone inventor who's ranked by Time magazine, and this amputee who gained the bionic capability of flight!