Drones That Recharge Batteries By Landing On Power Lines Created By MIT Student; US Air Force Creating MAVs?:?Tiny Flying Killing Machines
?Bird Drones? that can land on power lines and recharge themselves
- A working prototype is in the works, created by a student at MIT
- Drones are envisioned to be used by the military for long running missions
- Magnetic Fields are used to establish the technique to find the ideal landing & charging spot
- Swarms of tiny hunting drones that recharge themselves are being developed by the US Air Force
Drones are becoming a hot topic not only for military purposes, but also for private and commercial use. The recent purchase of a much coveted drone company by Google, as well as the plans of Amazon and Facebook to use drones, have made this small flying machine a household name.
These drones or UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles)?are flown?without a pilot on-board (controlled remotely) and are seen to perform a number of different tasks such as aerial surveillance and attacks (military)?,?distribution of?wi–fi?signals (as Google and Facebook reportedly plan to use them) and product delivery (the Amazon ?dream?).
All these drones, however, have one similar limitation, their battery or power supply. These UAVs all need to fly back to base before their power runs out and re-charge themselves for the next mission.
A student at MIT ?though, has demonstrated a prototype that might just make the trip back to base unnecessary. This prototype was shown to be able to re-charge its batteries by landing on a power line.
This re-charging system reportedly utilizes magnetic forces that are emitted by the power lines to signal the drone and guide it to land perfectly on top of the power line and recharge its batteries. The MIT demonstration showed that the drone prototype can detect the magnetic field from 4 meters away. The sensor, located on the nose of the drone, guides the AUV in making a perfect landing on top of the power line.
Joseph Moore, a PhD.?candidate?at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who is working on the system, explained that ? Small and micro UAVs have enabled a number of new mission capabilities, including navigating in and around buildings and performing perch-and-stare surveillance…However, one of the primary limitations of these small vehicles is endurance, simply because they cannot carry sufficient power for long missions?.
Moore realized while he was working in an MIT laboratory, that is dedicated to developing small flying vehicles, that there exists power that is not only above the ground but is free.
The prototype drone also utilizes technology on ?Fixed-Wing Perching? that allows UAVs to land on a power line like a bird.
Aside from the MIT prototype, reports on drone development indicate that the US Air Force is developing similar technology involving tiny UAVs that are capable of flying in swarms and attacking designated targets. These drones, according to the Air Vehicles Directorate, a research unit of the US Air Force, also have the capabilities to ?hover like bees, crawl like spiders? and execute?targets?with lethal precision. The US Air Force has named these drones as Micro Air Vehicles or MAVs.
These MAVs will be using the same power-charging tech as the MIT prototype where they can detect and land on power cables to ?steal? electricity and re-charge their batteries.
The US Air Force envisions that the MAV project will change the way wars are fought by minimizing human combatants.
In a presentation released by the US Air Force, they state that ?MAVs will become a vital element in the ever-changing war-fighting environment and will help ensure success on the battlefield of the future….Unobtrusive, pervasive, lethal – Micro Air Vehicles, enhancing the capabilities of the future war fighter.?
Photo Source: http://web.mit.edu/ ?