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This genius "vampire drone" is designed to fly forever

The drones feed on electricity from power lines to ensure they can keep flying.

Emad Samuel Malki EbeidNicolaj Malle, and their colleagues' 'vampire drone' was recently featured in the American business magazine Fast Company.

As you may know, the researchers from SDU Digital and High Frequency Electronics have developed an autonomous drone capable of self-charging its batteries from high-voltage power lines. 

When the drone is running low on energy, it can, with the help of sensors and AI technology, find the cables, latch onto them, and - not unlike a vampire - suck energy from them. 

This means that the drones are no longer limited by their short battery life and can operate - almost - eternally. They could thereby be even more helpful than they are already in, for instance, inspection and search and rescue situations.

- The drones would be able to essentially live on the grid and operate completely autonomously for extended periods of time with no need for human interaction, the researchers told Fast Company.

However, there are still a few loose ends before we will see the skies cluttered with vampire drones. Most importantly, there needs to be a system for paying for the electricity sucked from the network.

According to the researchers, an apparent first use case would be for the utility companies themselves to use the drones for inspection and maintenance of the high-voltage power lines.

Read more in Fast Company's article here.

Editing was completed: 10.05.2024