Daniel Wilson, a researcher from the University of Sydney, has devised an ingenious way to refuel or recharge drones in mid-flight.
“Currently,” he says in this video, “unmanned vehicle range and endurance is limited by the amount of energy that can be stored on board. One solution to this problem is to autonomously dock with another UAV in mid-air to refuel or recharge, but to the best of our knowledge UAV airborne docking had not been demonstrated prior to these experiments in November, 2014.”
Daniel’s solution involves two drones, a drogue, an infrared camera, GPS, inertial sensors, and LED markers. And, amazingly, it all works. Check out the press release for more info, or just watch this impressive video.
And doesn’t it remind you, just a little bit, of this?