I Got a Pocket, Got a Pocket Full of Compact Drones
This JBKnowledge, Inc. Tech Find is inspired by a compact drone that weighs about 1.3 ounces and can fold and unfold like origami. The drone can then automatically take flight within a fraction of a second. This drone, when completely extended, is about the size of an outstretched palm and was developed for use in disaster zones to detect the heat of a human body using infrared sensors. Ever seen the sci-fi thriller “Predator”? That is the best way to describe what the drones “see.” Not only could this drone save countless lives, but it could also be used to detect fires in construction zones and save companies from costly damages.
The drone’s foldable limbs are made of fiberglass and light polyester. The drone begins to unfold once switched on. The propellers begin to spin causing the arms of the drone to unfold horizontally. Magnets in the arms keep them locked into position and stable while in flight.
“In order for the drone to remain stable during flight, two of the propellers (diagonally across from each other) need to spin in the opposite direction from the other two, the researchers said. The propellers all spin the same direction while the drone unfolds, but a sensor detects when the arms have locked into position, and within 50 milliseconds, the direction of two of the rotors is reversed, so the drone is ready to take off.”
These tiny flying robots may not be in every construction worker’s tool belt yet, but the expansion of drones on job sites is giving a growing number of companies the ability to take detailed imagery of jobsites, monitor project progress, distribute tools between workers and more.