Despite surging tech advances that allow drone makers to both reduce craft size and increase their onboard capacities, one vexing problem remains: The more apped-up uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAV) are shrunk down, the less able they are to withstand adverse events like wind gusts and collision. That may soon change.
Insect-sized drones resist turbulence, collisions
Researchers have developed drones so small they could feasibly pollinate crops or dodge in and out of slim openings to inspect complex infrastructure – even in windy situations. In that way, they promise to combine the utility and mission effectiveness of larger drones with the agility and resiliency of mosquitos (without the annoying bites and potential diseases). And because their tiny wings flap at rates of nearly 500 beats per second to keep the six decigram craft aloft, the nano-UAV can respond to and recover from sudden gusts – or worse – in ways larger, rotor-lifted vehicles can’t.
“You can hit it…