The U.S. Army is creating a squirrel drone with a tiltable motor design, and it has been shaped after a flying squirrel to maximize flight efficiency. Also inspired from a military plane called a V-22 Osprey, the squirrel drone can shift the angle of its motors. This lightweight drone weights a little more than a half a pound, and it’s still in the experimental stage. The purpose of the U.S. Army’s flying squirrel drone is to help soldiers get an advantage on the field. Even though there are currently many concept drones being researched by the U.S. Army, this one is different because it can transform midair.
What is the Point of this Drone’s Design?
This drone is meant to aid soldiers on the battlefield. The squirrel drone will be designed to be a compact unit which can give soldiers an aerial advantage. One situation is when soldiers need a set of eyes over a hill; this squirrel drone can fly ahead of the army and scout the surrounding area.
Who Is Building the Squirrel Drone?
Dr. Steve Nogar is the man who created the squirrel drone design, and he has been researching this drone at a laboratory at the U.S. Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. He has spent most of the time programming this UAV.
What Is Next?
This drone will be designed to perch or land on objects, so sensors will also be added to guide the drone’s landing speed. In order for this experimental drone to land at a high speed, the sensors will need to be able to detect objects at a fast rate. Even though this UAV is still in the experimental stage, the size will drastically change. Dr. Nogar plans on making the squirrel drone smaller at around 10 inches in length. The yellow part of the drone will be the ideal size of the final design. The fact that it’s unique means that Dr. Nogar will have to spend more time researching its flight patterns because of its tiltable motor design.
Tiltrotor aircrafts like the V-22 Osprey lift off the ground like a helicopter with the motors positioned horizontal. Once it is in the air flying forward, the motors can then be tilted forward to achieve higher speeds. If the squirrel drone is aiming to mimic the flight patterns of a V-22 Osprey, then this drone’s glide design means that it will be capable of travelling long distances at faster speeds. Even though this squirrel drone needs further research, it has potential to become a great tool for the U.S. Army to utilize.