Oakland University is Making Drones that Can Both Fly and Swim

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Drones are a trending technology that, while most popular as toys, could even potentially become the new standard for commercial delivery.

But, as with all technology, the drone is being constantly developed and refined. In this case, a drone that would otherwise be a common quadcopter configuration becomes something incredibly unique, adding a function that could reinvent the versatility of the drone industry.

Using a “buoyancy chamber,” Dr. Osamah Rawashdeh and his team at Oakland University’s Embedded Systems Research Laboratory created the amphibious Loon Copter that can dive and swim underwater. This chamber draws in enough water to sink and somehow tilt to a 90-degree angle, where the drone can then swim with the rotors.

Once the desired depth is reached, the rotors shut down and the Loon, named after the aquatic bird, begins utilizing a water ballast system that pumps water in and out of the chamber so the drone can maneuver in different directions, dive deeper and then return to the surface where it can once again go airborne.

See it in action in the video below:

 

 

MRC Merch

MRC Merch