British engineers have developed a hybrid device for flight and underwater surveillance. It consists of a quadcopter that can land on water and to produce a robot that can swim underwater and in real time transmit video to the operator. The robot is connected to the drone via cable, so then the drone can lift it back up and fly away, say the authors of the article in the IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters.
There are projects hybrid drones, capable of moving in the air, on water and under it. They can be used to study DNA or to long of waiting under water in front of the air operation. The problem with these versatile drones lies precisely in their universality: a flying drone does not need waterproofing, and when swimming under water he has to use are designed to work in the air screws and waste a lot of energy to move her heavy body.
Engineers under the leadership of Mirko kovač (Mirko Kovac) from Imperial College London acted differently and created a hybrid consisting of two robots, each of which is well adapted to its environment. The main part is a homemade drone with quadcopter design. On its support are fixed two large but lightweight unit, allowing the drone to land on water and not sink.
On the bottom of the hull of the drone fixed coil with a five-meter cable, at the end of which hangs a small underwater robot. He moves under the water, using the mechanisms of the two types. To change the depth on the edge its tough sealed housing has a protruding polymer membrane in the form of a hemisphere. Thanks to her and to the air pump, the robot can change the volume of the hemisphere and thereby changing its buoyancy. For this purpose, the cable with the drone in addition to wires there is an air tube. Also the robot has two separate pumps that force the water and allow it to move and rotate. In addition, the robot has a camera with led light, microcontroller for control, and differential pressure sensor for determining depth.