Recently, the University of Washington published an article illustrating the use of laser energy by researchers for the propulsion of small drones. The nano drones represent a real asset for many missions but the autonomy of flight is a real challenge. To overcome this, researchers at University of Washington developed a wireless drone, powered by a small photovoltaic panel.
“Before now the concept of wireless insect-sized flying robots was science fiction. Would we ever able to make them work without needing a wire?” said co-author Sawyer Fuller, an assistant professor in the UW Department of Mechanical Engineering. “Our new wireless RoboFly shows they’re much closer to real life.”
“As soon as the photovoltaic cell is outside the line of sight of the laser, the robot runs out of energy and lands,” the researchers report. Much smaller and less expensive than the big drones currently on the market, nano drones can slip into spaces previously inaccessible to humans.
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