American engineers have found a way to increase the speed of modern quadcopters without additional energy costs.
Here's What We Know
Modern drones tilt slightly forward when transitioning to horizontal flight mode. This leads to an increase in frontal projection, which automatically means increased drag during flight. Engineers at the University of California at Berkeley have come up with an effective replacement for such a mechanism.
They developed a drone design called QUadcopter with an unactuated Rotor Tilting Mechanism (QUaRTM). It consists of a rectangular body and four beams. Each beam is equipped with one rotor.
The beams are attached to the body by hinges and springs. With the latter, the rotors can be held in line with the body of the drone. As the thrust increases, however, the springs lack the force to hold them in place, after which the drone beams tilt 20 degrees forward.
Due to the new mechanism, the drone can switch to horizontal flight mode without tilting forward and, consequently, increasing drag. Scientists tested QUaRTM in two modes.
When the tilt mechanism is unlocked, the maximum and cruising speeds increase by 12.5% and 7.5%, respectively. At the same time, the QUaRTM starts to consume 20% less power during flight at 15-20 m/s.
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