Drones have a hard time of staying up in the skies for too long. Right now, their designs limit their flight with how powerful their batteries can be. Since adding more batteries to the drone’s design is not such a great idea because of weight limits, inventors have to get creative. The most common idea floating around is the use of alternative energy sources to supplement the base lithium-powered batteries. The idea is that using an alternate source of energy as backup, a drone can stay in the air longer.
Phoenix Drone Breathing
The most common designs today for larger drones involve adding solar panels. Here, the solar panels provide added energy while the drone is in flight. Others consider laser recharging to add more power to the drone without needing to come down.
A new idea comes from the Phoenix drone. Here, the drone breathes air to lengthen its flight time. The Phoenix’s design is not your typical drone concept. It looks and acts like a blimp, with its rather cartoonish balloon-like exterior. It can ‘inhale’ air from the front, store it, and use it to push its propeller from the back. This gives the drone a second option during flight. It can store and release this air – similar to humans breathing – to control the drone’s direction, speed, and elevation.
In theory, it can stay up in the air using this technique indefinitely. No maintenance required, and no recharging to consider. The wings of the Phoenix also have solar panels, giving it an additional source of energy. As for its components, Phoenix has great selling points as well. In addition to being able to fly indefinitely, it also comes with cheap parts. This makes the Phoenix drone very affordable to build (and mass-produce). The low-cost components also means that the Phoenix, in case of damage, is easily replaceable and disposable.