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Researchers develop Gecko-like UAV
Mechanical engineers from Stanford University, working alongside researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, have developed a quadcopter UAV that is able to stick any landing, at any angle, much like a flying gecko or a bat.
The design, according to the New York Times, is the latest iteration of a robot called Stickybot, which was initially developed in 2010. Previous efforts to design climbing robots had required the use of transparent tape or suction cups to ascend, but the new model was able to scale glass walls using foot pads that could alternately stick and release with ease.
Government and defense
First, a plan by companies in France, Germany, and Italy to launch a medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) UAV program received a boost when defense ministers signed a Declaration of Intent for a two-year definition study.
Next up, the U.S. Navy named its first director of unmanned weapon systems to guide the development of the Navy’s future unmanned efforts in the air and on/under the sea, according to a Pentagon release.
Rear Adm. Robert P. Girrier, currently the deputy commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet (PACFLT) and career surface warfare officer — will oversee the newly created N99 office announced earlier this year by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.
Lastly, a NASA-led team has begun the testing of an advanced sense-and-avoid system using a General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Ikhana UAV.
The testing began on June 17 with a five-hour session, and carried into July at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards AFB in California. This is the third round of tests that continue previosu testing carried out in 2014. The first part of the test is to validate the sensor, trajectory and other simulation models utilizing live data, with some of the testing being carried out using NASA’s Ikhana UAV. Additional testing involves an S-3B plane from NASA’s Glenn Research Center, serving as a high-speed piloted surrogate aircraft.
Odds and ends
Here are a few links to some other interested headlines from this past month.
- 7 insights from the FAA’s former leader on drones
- Allstate Insurance begins testing UAVs
- T-Mobile begins testing UAVs
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