A Purdue University researcher has developed a patented design for drones that works in windy conditions, is more energy efficient and can handle a larger payload.
"Our drone design was inspired by the wings and flight patterns of insects," said Xiumin Diao, Assistant professor in Purdue's School of Engineering Technology.
"We created a drone design with automatic folding arms that can make in-flight adjustments."
The design provides drones with improved stability in windy conditions because the folding arms can move and change the centre of gravity of the device during flight.
The design also makes drones more energy efficient because the movable-arm technology allows for the use of the full range of rotor thrust.
"The drones on the market now have fixed arms and that greatly reduces their maximum payload capacity when the payload is offset their centre of gravity," Diao said in a paper published in the ASME Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement and Control.
The foldable arms can also help in search-and-rescue operations using drones because they can more effectively navigate the air conditions in ravaged areas and morph by moving the arms to go through narrow spaces, said researchers.
(Image Courtesy: Purdue University)