Drones are usually composed of four spinning rotors in each corner. Quadcopters have become the norm when it comes to drone design. The positions of the rotors give the drone a great flight capability while maximizing balance, control, and weight displacement. For newer drones, the quadcopter design is still the main pattern manufacturers follow.
What will the next generations of newer drones look like?
The DelFly Nimble
In what is yet again something you only see in science fiction, a drone in the Netherlands is making headlines this week for mimicking actual insect wing movement. The main goal for this insect project by researchers of the Micro Air Vehicle Laboratory is to learn how insects fly. Emulating their flight mechanism can provide better insight to these insects’ patterns and actions.
The DelFly Nimble may just be the most accurate insect drone out there. The wings move in such a manner similar to an actual insect, such as a bee or dragonfly. It has four separate wings (two pairs), and they move simultaneously to create insect flight. It even comes with the distinct sound that accompanies insects as well.
Each pair of wings comes with its own motor, giving the Nimble two motors onboard at all times. While this sounds like a lot, the drone is actually pretty light, weighing only at 29 grams. That is because while there are two motors, everything else is stripped, including a lot of the exterior. This was to preserve the weight when compared to an actual insect. Any heavier and the wings may not be able to lift the drone.
The Nimble is also very safe when it comes to flying near people. It has no rotors; just moving flaps for wings, which limits risks of injury altogether. Amazingly enough, the researchers at Micro Air are still beginning with their research. We may see even more of these in the future. Are we sure we are still in the real world and not in fiction?