One of, if not the most obvious limiting factor of drone technology is battery life. Most pro-sumer level drones only get between 20 and 30 minutes of flight time, depending on payload and weather conditions, on a single battery charge.
That is not going to cut it when Amazon begins delivering packages via UAV, so a solution will have to be found.
This is the exact problem concept designer Faser Leid has tackles with his proposed Tesla drone.
If we are being honest, the concept of a Tesla drone has come up in many conversations over the last few years, but few have given as much thought to the idea as Mr. Leid.
For one, Leid’s design does away with the traditional quadcopter design in favor of only two propellors.
The advantage, says Leid, “allows the propellers to act as the drone camera’s stabiliser, a gimbal isn’t required for video stability. This new configuration also makes the drone more battery efficient, since the propellers themselves create an immense amount of lift for their given surface area. The unique feature about the twin propeller design is their versatility. If the operator requires the drone for slow wide-angled panoramic video’s, the propellers in a vertical configuration will allow the drone to move slowly and steadily. If the operator requires the drone for fast-paced low-angled action video’s, the propellers in a horizontal configuration will make the drone nimble, quick and easy to handle at faster speeds, while also steadying the camera.”
Of course, there is no indication how two propellers would affect flight stability. The idea of interchangeable prop positions is an interesting one, but it would mean nothing if the drone won’t fly with the same stability in both modes.
However, the obvious feature of Leid’s design is the use of the Tesla Powercell Lithium-Ion 10,000 mAh battery which, he predicts would allow for an hour of flight time on a single charge.
Overall, it is an interesting and well designed concept, if a little far from development.
That said, if someone was secretly working on a category-defining product that would change the way we perceive a technology, it would be Elon Musk.
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