Great engineering let down badly by that uninspiring video segment...
I noticed thy did not say how much it weighs nor did they give a payload weight. And it can only fly in daylight.
I would this could go somewhere, but the next generation would have a graphene nanotube powerstorage in its structural framework, and the photo voltaics would be coated on the the blades and the exposed surfaces instead of some large heavier plate. This should allow the caring of small loads(less weight from PV plate), and allow for power storage in low light or no light times.
This is amazingly innovative. To think the breakthrough that these guys have made. I also love the fact that it has multiple applications! Great work guys! Inspiring!!!
Commendable achievement, though I might add, inevitable due in large part to advancements in photovoltaic and brushless motor efficiency. One must remember that less than 10 years ago, small electric helicopters were solely the domain of the experimental.
Good Job, i hope they are able to develop this so that it could carry a decent payload, but obviously that will prove to be very difficult as it must be extremely light to be able to be powered by the sun. Still good on them for making an objective and accomplishing it, doing something that hasn't been done before.
Kalab Wood
With solar technologies using the light weight high conductibility of grapgene alongside the advancement of battery storage and maintaining that storage, I can really see this innovation taking off.. literally. Also there is a group on kick starter that is developing a human powered helicopter. I wonder, could these techniques be combined?
Stephen N Russell
Dayflier, unless it stores energy for PM use. Scary if Govt uses for "snooping" around UK, London.
Dennis Roberts
I don't doubt that they were able to get off the ground with a pre-charged batterie. That in itself is a challenging feat given the weight of the PV panel. But are we supposed to believe that this UAV is able to fly as long as they want in bright sunlight? Even with the lightest PV cells and the most efficient motors, the math just doesn't add up. The structure they built is beautiful and I'm sure the goal is someday achievable, but given the small amount of information available in the video, I don't think they're there yet.
I'd looked at these on amazon- anywhere from 49$ on up (minus pv). problem was the batteries were twice that and only gave 5 to 10 minutes flight. PV for longer flight times would be very marketable. I'd buy an affordable one, what about some kind of retrofit for other brands of 'quadcopters'? (The one inside a ball that bounces off stuff ....)