Birds capable of hovering has always been a unique and sought out feature that humans have been trying to emulate in our equipment. This hovering capability has finally been successfully captured and implemented with quad-rotor electric craft that have only come out in the past few years in vehicles such as Cyber Technology (WA) Pty Ltd.’s Cyber Quad, which is capable of vertical takeoff like a helicopter.
The main difference between the Cyber Quad and other quad-rotor electric craft is that the Cyber Quad uses ducted fans versus traditional propellers. Ducted fans are propellers that are mounted within a cylindrical duct versus being exposed like the blades on traditional propeller planes. An advantage to ducted fans is that they can perform a limited amount of vector thrusting, making them more maneuverable. Ducted fans are also quieter due to the duct that shields the blade noise and reduces the tip speed and intensity of the tip vortexes which also contribute to noise production. Additionally, ducted fans are more efficient in producing thrust at low speeds than traditional propellers.
The invention of quad-rotor electric craft has made many previously tough and dangerous jobs much easier. For example, due to their relatively small size they are mobile and able to get into small spaces. An example of their usefulness was during the aftermath of an off-shore oil drilling platform fire. The remotely controlled drones are capable of being equipped with high-definition video cameras and various sensors flew into the oil-rig to detect any hazardous materials and assess the structural damage. As you can imagine these drones save humans lives.
Other quad-rotor electric craft such as AirRobot’s AR100B are currently used by British police to track criminals. The AR100B is very quiet so it can use its thermal imagining and night vision cameras to track criminals without being noticed unlike very loud helicopters. These are just some of the very useful features that quad-rotor electric craft give to us humans that make our lives safer and easier.
“AirRobot UKÂ® – Products.” Air Robot Products. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2012. <http://www.airrobot-uk.com/air-robot-products.htm>.