Diving drone can switch between flying and swimming

A drone that can fly like a standard quadcopter but also operate underwater could be developed as a tool for engineers and search and rescue teams

Technology



6 February 2023


A quadcopter that can fly like an aerial drone, but also splash down into water and operate like a submersible, could be used for search and rescue missions or engineering inspections.

Ben Chen at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and his colleagues created a prototype device called Mirs-X, which weighs 1.63 kilograms and is 38 centimetres wide. It can hover for 6 minutes in the air or dive underwater for around 40 minutes. Mirs-X is waterproof at depths of up to 3 metres and moves at up to 2 metres per second in water.

Its propellers spin rapidly to …

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