In a previous article we mentioned areas using drones to pollinate their plant life. With the massive decline in bee population over the last decade, plants have started taking a hit in terms of growth and spread. Drones were then called upon for help, mimicking the actions of worker bees on the environment.
Miniature Drone Chip:
Meanwhile, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), scientists may have found the next step to this worker bee drone process. They developed a navigation chip that can make flight easier for drones. Why is this important you ask? Because this chip was specifically made for miniature drones.
The problem with miniature drones – or miniature technology – in general, is its size. The surface area where you can place essential parts on smaller objects can be a hassle. From batteries to computer hardware, you can only place so much in such a small space. This goes double for miniature drones, which plans to be the size of actual bees in the near future.
This creates problems for smaller drones, such as lower battery life and a far inferior computing system. Lower battery life means shorter flight time, which leads to shorter distance capabilities.
The navigation would take a toll, compared to a regular sized drone. This is where the chip comes in. The microchip is about 0.03 square inches in size. But with its small stature, it still retains computing prowess. The chip advertises the capability of processing camera images at 171 FPS (frames per second) at 2W battery power.
This means that no matter how small drones get in the future, you can still be sure it is capable of processing data.
Although like many other feats in technology today, the miniature drone chip may still be a few years away. Testing and calculations are still being made with the goal of shrinking down the size even more.