Scientists in the United Kingdom have manufactured a drone that produces webs, just like the character in the popular science fiction film, Spiderman. This drone shoots out webs from four tubes located at its base. These webs allow the drone to attach itself to solid surfaces to maintain stability, however, research is ongoing on how to make the webs stick to many different types of surfaces.
The aim of the researchers is to operate the SpiderbotMAV drone in extreme environments. One of the industries where the drone would be deployed is the mining industry. The SpiderbotMAV drone will carry out surveys of mines including mapping and sampling. By replacing people with these new drones, the mining industry can reduce the risk of injury to people who currently carry out these tests now.
Mining is a dangerous industry. During mining operations, humans go into holes located many kilometers deep where they are face a wide assortment of risks. Such as cave-ins, deadly gas and more. The goal of the SpiderbotMAV is to reduce the risks for miners. This new Drone would be used to survey, map and sample mines.
The drone is equipped with a special type of technology that enables it to shoot out webs that will affix it to surfaces. For now, scientists are using silk-like material to produce the webs, but research is ongoing on using advanced materials in the future. These advanced new materials would allow the drone to stick to different types of surfaces.
The manufacturers of the SpiderbotMAV, who are inspired by nature, have also created the AquaMAV, a drone that can imitate diving birds and flying fish. The AquaMAV uses compressed gas to eject water during take-off. This allows the drone to propel itself from aquatic environments into the air. When it reaches the air, the drone opens it wings to enable it to fly back to its station upon the completion of its mission.
The AquaMAV is a special type of drone that is able to reenter the water using the plunge diving technique. When it is airborne, it spreads out its wings but when it is in the water, it folds them up, allowing it to easily maneuver through the water. The AquaMAV also has a hydrophobic surface that ensures that it dries off immediately upon leaving the water.
The Research Director, Dr Kovac believes that the love for drone technology will continue to grow and become part of our daily lives. Kovac feels that the more humans embrace robotics and drone technology, the more drones will play a significant role in all aspects of society.