A high-speed drone inspired by Origami is looking to provide technological solutions and reliable relief to disaster zones.
A team from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) constructed the unit, which carries up to 500g a distance of 2km, to avoid obstacles and conveniently fit in a rucksack.
The UAV, which reduces its size by 92% when folded, is encased in a carbon-fibre structure frame to protect the UAV and its cargo in case of a collision as well allows recipients to catch it in mid-flight.
It was designed in EPFL’s Laboratory of Intelligent Systems with funding from NCCR Robotics, uses self-flying technology after a route is planned to avoid obstacles.
Avionics lecturer Steve Wright told Professional Engineering: “All this modern drone technology allows us to sort of cheat as it were, as engineers,” said Wright, from the University of the West of England in Bristol. “We don’t have to please the laws of aerodynamics any more, like we’ve had to with conventional aircraft.”