Quadrotor Safety System Stops Propellers Before You Lose a Finger
Quadrotors have a reputation for being both fun and expensive, but it’s not usually obvious how dangerous they can be. While it’s pretty clear from the get-go that it’s in everyone’s best interest to avoid the spinny bits whenever possible, quadrotor safety primarily involves doing little more than trying your level best not to run into people. Not running into people with your drone is generally good advice, but the problems tend to happen when for whatever reason the drone escapes from your control. Maybe it’s your fault, maybe it’s the drone’s fault, but either way, those spinny bits can cause serious damage.
Safety-conscious quadrotor pilots have few options for making their drones safer, and none of them are all that great, due either to mediocre effectiveness or significant cost and performance tradeoffs. Now researchers at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, have come up with a clever idea for a quadrotor-safety system that manages to be highly effective, reliable, lightweight, and cheap all at the same time. If that sounds too good to be true, we have video of some hot dogs not getting chopped into bits that might convince you otherwise.