With as many regulations and limitations on drones as there are applications, researchers have really started to push the envelope on making safer, easier to use drones that are more practical in terms of cost. Enter roboticist Sergei Lupashin and his dog leash tethered drone. This consumer-friendly drone was brought out to ‘play’ at the Vancouver TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference.
Lupashin’s drone design is very easy to use and with no G.P.S, radio or internal compass built into the drone, it has removed a vast number of the components that drive up the cost of small UAVs. This concept could very well dictate the future of commercial drones for the average consumer.
This particular drone has also been tested by field journalists looking to get photographs of large scale events such as protests to provide viewers a better idea about the scope of the situation. The only major downside to the use of this drone has been the stability of weather conditions. To get clear pictures and images from the drone, the air needs to be virtually still.
This is not the first or only tethered drone design on the market or in the works. CyPhy Works has a tethered drone that is connected to a portable base by microfilament. Currently referred to as E.A.S.E (Extreme Access System for Entry), the UAS has immediate military applications by offering high-definition video images and data that is virtually unintercept-able and next to impossible to jam. CyPhy Works also has a non-military version of this hovering robot designed to present solutions for industries such as agriculture, construction, gas and oil production as well as mining.
The UAV Rapace is yet a third example of tethered drones that was financed by the French ministries. It provides a large range of uses, including electronic warfare in border patrol and military settings, as well as managing oil spill management and clear up missions. Tethered drones are a, cost effective step towards bringing drones into our everyday lives.
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com