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Watch: Failsafe tech keeps drone flying even when damaged

A new failsafe technology allows a drone to recover and stay in the air after a malfunction or motor failure.
Dec 9th 2013, 7:30 PM 9,523 17

WHILE WE’RE STILL a long way from seeing drones becoming common place, those who might be worried about them malfunctioning and crashing can rest easy.

The Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control, based in Zurich, Switzerland, has created an automatic failsafe that allows a quadrocopter drone to recover from the loss of a propeller or motor failure.

An failsafe algorithm allows it to detect anything wrong with the drone automatically, allowing it to recover and stay in the air.

The drone can then land safely without harming either itself, any cargo it may be carrying or anyone who happens to be close by. Without the failsafe, the drone falls straight to the ground.

The technology used to achieve this is patent pending, but such experiments will come in useful should drones ever become popular.

(Video: Mark Muller/YouTube)

The project is part of the Flying Machine Arena project and supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

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Quinton O'Reilly


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