Otherlab’s Cardboard Drone – “A Pizza Box… Shaped into a Wing”

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Aircraft Materials, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

A disposable drone that will make a one-way trip to a disaster area won’t add to the suffering if it dissolves within a few weeks of delivering its life-saving cargo.  That’s the promise of the “Aerial Platform Supporting Autonomous Resupply Actions” (APSARA), currently being developed by Otherlab, a San Francisco-based group specializing in next-generation creations.  Funded by DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), APSARA is part of their ICARUS program (Inbound, Controlled, Air-Releasable, Unrecoverable Systems).  The acronyms are becoming overwhelming. Disposable medical supplies are a commonplace in today’s clinics and hospitals.  A recent chat with a nurse elicited her concern that medical supplies were so readily disposable.  Latex or nitrile gloves, single-use syringes, and protective paper covers and wraps …

Burrito Bombing – A Kinder, Gentler UAV Use

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

An engineering threesome apparently not finding a sense of accomplishment in their daily routine, have developed an integrated hardware and software system to deliver hot burritos in the time it takes to fly them to a customer. Quadrotors are being tested and used for an amazing range of tasks, including taking medicine and other humanitarian deliverables to remote  villages and finding hostages while providing tactical intelligence to ground forces. The hope of tacos being delivered to San Francisco Bay area residents, as advertised on a web site listing itself as a “private beta” link was busted as a hoax by Christina Bonnington of Wired.   She wrote that TacoCopter was the brainchild of, “Star Simpson, an MIT grad who stumbled into the limelight …