A new innovative multipurpose drone, code-named RX-4, which is in the process of being developed, was presented by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki at the 84th Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF). It is an innovative drone that can be utilised effectively in many different missions, such as mapping, research and rescue, patrol, espionage and 3D urban mapping.
What distinguishes the new drone from the rest on the market is its two innovations:
Firstly, it has a great energy autonomy, which lasts up to two hours, while in the corresponding models the energy autonomy is only half an hour.
Secondly, it has the potential for vertical take-off and landing, which means it doesn’t need much space on the ground. The example cited by AUTh researchers is characteristic: ‘‘We’re on a mountain, like Mount Olympus, for rescue missions. In the case of other drones, we would need a runway of up to 50 meters long and a treeless area. Now we just need a glade’’.
The RX-4’s innovation is based on the drone’s geometry. It does not look like the conventional ones because it has no tail and thus the surface area needed is minimized.
It carries a camera of about half a kilo, which changes depending on the mission the drone will carry out. It is lightweight, weighing just 4 kilos, and can be easily assembled and disassembled to fit in the boot of a conventional car. It even flies autonomously without being piloted by the user and is controlled via a tablet.
The project involves and collaborates with the Laboratory of Fluid Mechanics & Turbomachinery (LFMT) of the School of Mechanical Engineering of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the Automation and Robotics Laboratory (ARL) of the Department of Production and Management Engineering of the Democritus University of Thrace, GeoSense and MLS company. The team started in the summer of 2018 and is expected to deliver a highly competitive product that will be available on the market by the end of 2020.