Have you ever had a problem finding a drone that suits all your needs? If this is the case, then a group of MIT’s students has the invention which could solve your problem. Thanks to their interactive program, it may soon be possible for everyone to build their own drone, even without any technical background.
Five students from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) created a prototype of a system that could help anyone design and build a drone which matches their exact criteria. The program would allow you to design a drone based on your precise needs, such as payload, fly time, battery function, and even cost. They created the system as well as several drones to demonstrate the creation process.
The process goes through five stages:
1. Design: this is the first stage, where you are to choose the look of your drone. There are several options to choose from when it comes to the shape: a quadcopter, a hexacopter or a pentacopter. There is even a complex and free from geometry shape of a bunny, if you wish to build a (slightly creepy) bunnycopter. You can also choose different propellers, rotors, and rods.
2. Optimization: after you have chosen the shape, you can optimize your drone for payload, battery life, cost and the combination of these factors.
3. Simulation: when the optimization is done, it’s time to see whether the drone would be operable. The system enables you to verify the design results, and you can go back to optimization and make the changes if there’s need for that. This is a very important step, because imagine building a drone from scratch only to realize that it’s not really operable.
4. Fabrication: once you have designed a drone, it’s time to make it real. The controller, all electronics and the parts to assemble a working drone are provided at this step, creating a drone that is possible to fly and created by your own standards and needs.
5. Experiment: last, but not least, the test of the drone. The students tested all the drones they built for taking off, hovering and landing. They also experimented with optimized an unoptimized models for battery life and payload.
This system is still in its prototype stage, but according to the results, it seems that in near future it may become available to everyone. In fact, this is precisely the intention of the system’s makers. If it comes to life, each of us may be able to build our own drone, based completely on our needs, preferences and budget – and all this can be done in only one hour. If this system comes to life, it may bring a revolution for photographers and videographers, and make some significant changes in the drone market.
What do you think? Would you build your own drone or you prefer buying one? Do you think this invention could change the market and bring novelty to the lives of photographers and videographers? Share your thoughts in the comments.