Engineers introduced a drone balloon powered by a Raspberry Pi microcomputer. The development of researchers from New Zealand is described on GitHub.
The vast majority of modern drones are made according to the quadcopter scheme – it is easy to reproduce, however, the flight time of such devices is limited to half an hour, and the screws rotating at high speed can be dangerous both for the operator and other people.
In the new work, the researchers created a drone of a new shape – it is made in the form of a balloon and consumes energy only for maneuvers. Most of the time it stays in the air due to the volume filled with helium.
The drone is based on a 91-cm balloon with a foil surface, in the lower part of which there is a control platform with three screws. The gondola is printed on a 3D printer, and inside it is installed a Raspberry Pi Zero W computer, a camera and a 500 mAh battery.
The testing of the device showed that it is capable of lifting loads weighing up to 80 kg into the air. In addition, the device can fly in a circle without operator intervention, as well as perform various simple maneuvers.