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Drones That Perch Like Birds Could Go on Much Longer Flights

By Technology Review

March 15, 2019

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Yale University researchers have designed an observational drone that can perch like a bird to save energy, using grippers to grab onto anything smaller than its opening width.

The drone comes with three controllable fingers tipped with "contact modules," or attachments that function as the connecting point to objects.

This allows the drone to switch off two rotors, consuming about 45% less energy.

The vehicle also can grasp a rod and hang upside down, allowing all the rotors to be deactivated; the drone also can rest on a stick, using about 69% less power than hovering.

Yale's Kaiyu Hang said, "Perching and resting can provide lower power consumption, better stability, and larger view ranges in many cases.”

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