Surveillance drone saves power by deliberately crashing into walls

A prototype surveillance drone can save power and stay on task for longer by sticking to walls and powering down its rotors, but only by making a crash landing

Technology 20 April 2022

Drone

Drones are used for surveillance, but battery life can be a problem

Steve Fisher / Alamy Stock Photo

Small drones used for surveillance can monitor events for longer by attaching themselves to a wall and powering down their rotors to extend battery life.

Jeffrey Mao at New York University and his colleagues came up with the idea and built a prototype from commercially available parts. Mao says the drone typically has a flying time of just 20 minutes before its batteries run out. But by having the drone stick to a wall, its battery life can …

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