Robotics researchers at the University of Queensland have created environment-sensing UAVs that are cheap and easy to produce.
A robotics team at the University of Queensland in Australia has created environment-sensing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) that are so cheap and easy to produce they can be thrown away after one use. Gizmag reports that the two small drones have been designed to help during forest fires.
The Polyplane is shaped like a paper plane, while the Samara looks like a maple seed. They can be dropped in an area and report back on atmospheric conditions in difficult terrain.
The Polyplane features an avionics system that enables it to self-steer once released using small elevon tabs on the back of each wing and an onboard control system.
The Samara take its design cue from nature. Its flight is less controllable than the Polyplane, but it is able to float gently to the ground when released without damaging the electronics.