Posted By Simon Montford on Sept 17, 2014
Academics from the University of Virginia have developed a low cost 3D printable drone powered by an Android smartphone. It was commissioned by the US Department of Defense that need a UAV that could easily be replaced when lost or damaged while undertaking operations out in the field.
The 3D drone printing pioneer and former Pratt & Witney and Rolls-Royce engineer David Sheffler was commissioned by a Prime contractor to design a drone that could carry a payload of 680 grams and have a lifespan of around three years. Also any parts than cannot be printed must be off the shelf. giving a total replacement cost of £2,500.
The 'Razor' as featured in the above video can be pieced together like logo. It weighs around 3kgs, is powered by a micro jet engine and controlled by a Nexus 5 Android smartphone which has been preloaded with a custom avionics app. It can be flown indefinitely providing the operator has 3-4 batteries due to 1hr flying time and 2hrs charging time from a range of up to a mile.
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