You must have come across numerous instances while transporting your drone to your flying zone in a nearby local park or even to some distant forlorn location, when you would have yearned for a smaller drone. A smaller drone would obviously be exceptionally easy to carry from one place to another. But if you are a typical person who likes to take his dogs for a walk rather than spending time flying his drone, then your answer to the above assumption would be an emphatic NO! However, if your reply to the above assumption was a yes, then your wish is about to come true thanks to a couple of researchers from Switzerland and their compact sized, retractable drone that can be unfolded and set whizzing through the lofty heights of skies in a matter of seconds.
Stefano Mintchev and Dario Floreano, a couple of seasoned researchers in the field of Robotics, at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology introduced their innovation to the world just recently. They have developed a quadcopter which is able to fold its arms into a trapezoid in order to ensure easy storage and comfortable portability. The arms consist of a 0.3mm of fiberglass in the upper layer and an inextensible layer of fabric at the underneath. When the drone is about to fly, its arms get extended outwards, the rotors begin to rotate and the drone starts soaring in the skies. Obviously, when the arms get extended, you will still be required to fold the arms up manually. The scientists are still working to produce a model with arms that get folded up automatically.
The developers believe that the folding design of their unique drone was actually inspired from the folding patterns used so frequently in origami. They are of the view that origami lets us capitalize on intricate folding patterns in a very lightweight design in contrast to the conventional foldable frames with tons of joints. They argue that the intended folding pattern can be easily derived from the crease pattern of the origami. In this machine, the two vertical folds let the arm fold along the central chassis. The horizontal fold just ensures that the arm gets stiff enough after deployment to allow the pilot to manage the flight operations seamlessly.
Since the drone boasts a very compact size, so its physique does not render it suitable enough for carrying heavy payloads. Having said that, since it is easy to transport from one place to another, it can be a great gadget for the spies. Yes, your friends or nemesis might attempt to use it to infringe on your privacy but those in the emergency response departments can use such devices really effectively in risky or untowards situations to carry out an aerial survey of the affected areas.
So, once you go out to the local park for a stroll, you can carry a number of these gizmos in your backpack and use them in whatever way you deem fit. I am not sure whether you would like your drones to be buzzing around you like a group of scary bats. But these machines are the future and we should not be surprised by the revolution they will be bringing in our lives in the days to come.