Professor Papanikolopoulos's Transforming Drone Featured in ‘New Scientist’

March 20, 2017

Professor Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos’s shape-shifting drone was recently highlighted in New Scientist. The solar-powered craft takes off like a helicopter and then morphs into a plane in mid-air. Right now, it is intended to help precision agriculture by providing aerial survey maps for farmers.

Professor Papanikolopoulos and his U of M team’s novel design lengthens the amount of time drones can stay in flight, enabling the drone, called a Solar Unmanned Air Vehicle: Quad (SUAV:Q), to capture stable imagery of the land below.

“The idea is that anybody can buy this and carry it around in their pickup truck,” said Professor Papanikolopoulos.

Insights gained from SUAV:Q can be applied to reduce the weight of general purpose drones and cut down the potential cost of drones used in aerial surveying.

To read New Scientist’s full feature on this groundbreaking SUAV:Q, head to their website.

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