The SpiderMAV has no need to fear the wind.
Stable flying is a challenge for any airborne object, be it a jet bouncing in turbulence or a drone blowing in the wind. Researchers at Imperial College London’s Aerial Robotics Laboratory are working on the latter problem by creating the SpiderMAV, a drone with a built-in rope gun that shoots out magnetic connectors.
Watch the SpiderMAV in action
Simply an ordinary DJI quadcopter with attachments, the drone is a proof of concept. The magnets aren’t currently strong enough to withstand a crosswind. Even so, the idea is a solid one.
Imperial’s Mirko Kovac often looks to animals for inspiration when building drones, be it insects or arachnids. The SpiderMAV is inspired by the orb-weaver spider. The spider, known as Darwin’s bark spider, is capable of shooting out 7,62 metre webs of silk.
One key problem with drones is battery life. Companies like Amazon have worked towards ideas of perching drones with chargers, building out spaces on lamp posts and similar public spaces. Letting a drone hang from a magnetic rope might offer a holding structure with even fewer needs for space.
Animals inspire drone design. However, they remain quite befuddled by the flying objects.