A new paper drone funded by a DARPA research grant, from Otherlab, a San Francisco-based aerodynamics research firm. Drone taps the paper folding skills of its engineers and adds modern technology that could one day aid relief organizations after disasters. This drone uses lightweight materials and smart design to create a disposable transport vehicle capable of carrying medical supplies where they’re needed most that changes the equation.
This is mainly used in situations where there’s been a disease spread and when vaccines are urgently in need or in areas where the road or terrain conditions are so treacherous that it would take far too long for a ground vehicle to make the trek.
These cardboard drones come in a flat pack and are designed so that anyone can assemble them no engineering background required. That means in a hospital setting, for example, any staff member can prepare the aircraft and load it with medical supplies to deliver to areas in need. It is designed with cheap paper materials so that it can travel one way and be discarded. Because of its lack of a motor, the drone does require another aircraft to get it airborne. Once in the air, it uses an onboard computer and sensors that adjust its route and aid in its landing. After touching down, the reduced cost of its materials make the glider disposable, a single-use drone.
Otherlab’s design is also super portable. Each comes in a cardboard flat pack and is designed to be easy enough for anyone to assemble, no advanced degree required.