The drones or UAV’s (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) that we are all familiar with in movies and the news are either the spying kind, delivers deadly missile and bomb payloads, or are simple camera platforms for photographers and videographers. So what about a UAV drone that can deliver emergency food and supplies to disaster victims?
The beauty of technology is that a tech already existing can be modified and improved for something specific. The Pouncer, a UAV developed by Windhorse Aerospace, is a drone that can accurately land at disaster sites and the whole body is designed to maximize both space and its parts for the utmost utility. It can be fully packed with food, water, and medicines while the pre-formed shell can be converted into a shelter and the wooden frame burned as cooking or warming firewood.
According to Windhorse Aerospace founder and Pouncer creator, Nigel Gifford, should Pouncer be mass produced as a cheap disaster relief drone, the days of delivering disaster relief goods by using wasteful parachute containers will be numbered. Also, instead of developing expensive metal-framed drones, cheap materials like plastic, wood, and balsa are the better alternatives.
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Gifford, himself a former soldier in the British Armed Forces designing feeding programs for soldiers in hostile environments, is also the creator of the Ascenta drone, which was bought by Facebook in 2014. He is also an aeronautical engineer.
The idea of developing On the other hand, Pouncer drones can reach any destination and land anywhere even if all communications, roads, and railways have been destroyed and ground traffic cannot get to survivors.
The Pouncer is made of a pre-formed plastic shell that is waterproof, highly aerodynamic, and vacuum packed so it can be filled with essential food and supplies. The wings and frame are made from plywood and also carries partial components for more supplies. Unlike pre-packed parachute containers that go to waste, Pouncers can be loaded with selected food unique for that particular location.
So basically, it is a cheap and disposable drone that can still be utilized to maximum effect even after fulfilling its primary mission. There will even be printed instructions in the local language located on the drone’s exterior to explain how to dismantle and what supplies and food are inside. The drone is easily explained to aid workers so those on the ground can already be familiar with the aircraft.
The Pouncer is launched from a C-130 Hercules or other similar transport aircraft at a height of around 10,000 feet (3,000 meters), allowing the drone to easily glide into its target range or make a wide berth around hostile drop zones if necessary. The drone can either be fitted with a small automatic navigation system to guide it to its destination or it can be piloted remotely.
The navigation system has already been tested and proven to be able to deliver the drone within 20 feet of its intended target. Pouncer drones will only cost around $195 per unit. That’s good news since the normal UAV’s flying around to spy and deliver payloads cost millions.
Photo by manhhai