U of Queensland Develops a ‘Safety Rotor’ for Quadrotors to Make Drones Safer

Published by , May 28, 2018 12:36 pm

(SpectrumIEEE)  Safety-conscious quadrotor pilots have had few options for making their drones safer due either to mediocre effectiveness or significant cost and performance tradeoffs. Now researchers at the University of Queensland (UQ) in Brisbane, Australia, have come up with an idea for a quadrotor-safety system that manages to be highly effective, reliable, lightweight, and cheap all at the same time.
The UQ researchers have developed a system in the form of a swept mechanical interference sensor called the Safety Rotor. It’s a simple idea: A plastic hoop is added to the rotor system that spins around the rotor plane, such that anything that would make contact with the rotor must make contact with the hoop first. And if the hoop senses a contact, it puts the brakes on the rotor, slowing it enough that it’ll turn needing a finger into needing a band-aid.

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