Lightweight disposable UAVs could reduce forest fire death tolls

by Gavril Mankoo

UAVs or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles have never really been an inexpensive way to keep a wary eye on one’s neighborhood. Things are about to change though as a Robotics team led by Dr. Paul Pounds at Australia’s University of Queensland has recently unveiled its latest development, inexpensive and easy-to-manufacture UAVs. These are built specifically to monitor forest fires and provide crucial information by watching over areas inaccessible to humans. Two prototypes were developed for this, the first being a high-tech paper plane of sorts called the Polyplane that allows users to pre-determine its location. The second is called the Samara and follows the form factor of the maple seed.

From the two, the Polyplane allows users more control and could very-well use circuit boards printed directly into the plane’s paper-made body. The Polyplane is biodegradable and can be disposed after use, given the fact that creating one of these isn’t too expensive. The Samara on the other hand is required to be dropped from a height and floats gently to the ground, with its wing working as an antenna to transmit information.

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[Via – Gizmag]