Size matters when it comes to drones. People are looking for smaller, more portable and longer flight times.
Well according to these articles it is become a reality. Tiny, energy efficient drones are being produced as you read this article.
You can read about MIT’s chip in the following article
MIT chip may power long-lasting mini drones. Drones that are smarter, smaller and run much longer may be on their way. MIT said in a release Wednesday that its researchers, co-led by Vivienne Sze and Sertac Karaman, built a fully customized chip that’s as tiny as a LEGO minifigure’s footprint and consumes only about one-thousandth the energy to power a light bulb.
This article take the mini drone concept further, to the size of a bee with massive power savings. Can you imagine a drone this small, it will easily fit in your pocket or bag. You will also be able to fly indoors and confined spaces.
Tiny MIT chip helps bee-sized drones navigate
This is ultimately a second shot at the concept. Early work tweaked an existing design, but it still used a ‘massive’ 2W of power. MIT designed Navion from the ground up, and achieved its power savings in part by minimizing the amount of data the chip stores at any given time, maximizing its flow. It even goes to the extreme of cutting out math calculations that involve zeroes, since the answer will always be zero. All these efforts helped cut the necessary memory down from 2MB to just 0.8MB, further saving on size and power draw.
The problem we hear most about with small and cheaper dones is the short flight time. This is as low as 8 minutes. Presently the only way to overcome this is to have extra batteries to use when the flight time is up. While this improves the experience it is a pain having to land and change batteries.
The new generation of mini (micro) drones will make life easier for selfie enthusiasts and people just wanting to have fun flying their quadcopters.
I suppose the big question is “How Much”. We all know as technology shrinks the normally moves the other way. Like all new technology it is expensive to start with but with time the price comes down to find a reasonable level the market is willing to fork out.
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Author: Kevin Pola
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