UAV Concept: Mother Hen and Friendly Chicks

This concept aircraft features a flying carrier with ejectable UAVs to conduct missions in remote areas

1 min read
UAV Concept: Mother Hen and Friendly Chicks

One of the more interesting concepts we saw at the AUVSI show this year (and possibly just ran across while we were sorting through our piles of conference swag) was this UAV, from Canadian company Eqquera. Called the SQ-EQQ, it consists of a "mother hen" autonomous delta-wing jet-thing that can deploy "friendly chick" sub-UAVs to conduct missions all by themselves.

The "mother hen and friendly chicks" thing is a less deadly version of "mother hen with deadly chicks," which refers to a 1930s era Soviet program featuring bombers launching little parasite aircraft to drop more bombs on stuff. Here's a slightly better illustration of how the SG-EQQ is supposed to work:

The version of the UAV illustrated above is carrying just one friendly chick that looks exactly like a UFO, but other configurations can carry up to three friendly chicks that look slightly less exactly like UFOs. The chicks can undock and dock autonomously, giving the system a significant increase in range and versatility over other UAVs, since you get all of the capability of a small rotor-based UAV without sacrificing the range and efficiency of a large jet-based UAV.

Eqquera is designed for autonomous operation in remote areas, specifically arctic ecosystem monitoring and fighting wildfires with "water missiles:"

At AUVSI, Eqquera had a small-scale non-functioning prototype of the carrier aircraft, and considering the complexity of what they're trying to do, our guess is that it's going to take them quite a while to get a full-size flying version of the complete system off the ground.

And I'm not sure what a water missile is, but I badly want to launch one at something dry.

Via [ Eqquera ]

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How Robots Can Help Us Act and Feel Younger

Toyota’s Gill Pratt on enhancing independence in old age

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An illustration of a woman making a salad with robotic arms around her holding vegetables and other salad ingredients.
Dan Page

By 2050, the global population aged 65 or more will be nearly double what it is today. The number of people over the age of 80 will triple, approaching half a billion. Supporting an aging population is a worldwide concern, but this demographic shift is especially pronounced in Japan, where more than a third of Japanese will be 65 or older by midcentury.

Toyota Research Institute (TRI), which was established by Toyota Motor Corp. in 2015 to explore autonomous cars, robotics, and “human amplification technologies,” has also been focusing a significant portion of its research on ways to help older people maintain their health, happiness, and independence as long as possible. While an important goal in itself, improving self-sufficiency for the elderly also reduces the amount of support they need from society more broadly. And without technological help, sustaining this population in an effective and dignified manner will grow increasingly difficult—first in Japan, but globally soon after.

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