Here’s an interesting concept. For the past few years, drone companies, researchers, robotics experts, and even the military have been trying to improve drone battery life.
For the most part, battery life dictates a lot of things a drone can do. It can determine how much cargo it can carry, how long can it fly before landing for recharging, and how far it can reach. A battery life directly dictates a drone’s range, making them a lot less effective than the traditional methods of carrying cargo, like land vehicles. Sure, they offer speed and flight. But battery life can be very limiting for most tasks that sometimes it just isn’t worth it.
The Search for Longer Battery
Companies tried a number of ways to prolong a drone’s battery life. The biggest ideas involve using solar panels to recharge the drone while in the air. This plan can theoretically give the drone an infinite power source. Another is using a laser beam to send concentrated energy to a drone, recharging it. A company even removed batteries entirely and relied on a more reliable fuel source: hydrogen. While some think outside the box, one company just enhanced the drone design to be able to carry more batteries inside its shell. More batteries = more energy. Can’t argue with that, huh?
Another idea floating (no pun intended) around is by using power stations to recharge drones remotely. The Global Energy Transmission (GET) has this idea of using induction currents to charge multiple drones while they are still flying. They can, in theory, stay up in the air. That is, as long as they get within range of these induction towers to recharge. Of course, that would mean planting these towers in a lot of places to actually make that theory a reality.
The towers produce 12 kilowatts, which is advertised to recharge drones and add 25 minutes of flight into their systems. The energy transfer is not instantaneous however, as the drones require staying within range of the towers for about 6 minutes. So the question is, is it really flying continuously if they still have to take rest periods to recharge?