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This sensor stops your quadcopter before it can cut you

The folks at Spectrum have found a truly cool project for quadcopter pilots. It’s a spinning sensor that will stop the rotors if your finger gets too close to the blades, thereby preventing you – or your kids – from getting cut. Researchers at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia created so-called Safety Rotor to help prevent accidents with more powerful quadrotor drones. The system constantly senses for a “finger” – in this case a hot dog – and then slams the rotor to a stop within 0.077 seconds. A cage around the propellers spins more slowly than the propellers and is constantly on the lookout for biological material approaching the blades. The measured latency of the Safety Rotor’s braking response was 0.0118 seconds from the triggering event to start of rotor deceleration. The rotor required a further 0.0474 s to come to a complete stop. Ninety percent of the rotational kinetic energy of the rotor (as computed from angular velocity) was dissipated within 0.0216 s of triggering, and 99 percent of the rotational kinetic energy of the rotor was dissipated within 0.032 s. The safety functionality of the safety system was tested on the bench using a processed meat “finger” proxy to trigger the hoop, and also applied to an open rotor (without hoop) for comparison. The rotor was spun at hover speed (1100 rads−1) and the finger proxy was introduced into the hoop at 0.36 ms−1 … The rotor and finger motion were captured using a shutter speed of 480 Hz. The rotor came to a stop within 0.077 s, with only light marks on the finger proxy from the impact of the hoop

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Audi gets in on the flying car action with Airbus and Italdesign

 The Geneva Motor Show is home to many supercars and outlandish apparitions, but the collaboration between Italdesign, Audi and Airbus on the Pop.Up Next flying car concept is one of the more out there. It’s an updated version fo the Pop.Up that Italdesign and Airbus brought to the show last year, this time including an Audi-branded components of the modular flying/driving system. The… Read More

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GoPro launches its Karma drone in the UK

GoPro's foray into drone development has been troubled, to say the least. The highly anticipated Karma launched in the US last October, only to be recalled a few weeks later. The reason? Some of them were falling out of the sky (eesh). As a result, G...

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