While the Unmanned Aerial Vehical (UAV) may be synonymous with the military and the infamous practice of ‘Drone Strikes’ in recent conflicts, the AEE Toruk AP10 has been built with the best intentions in mind.
Four rotor blades, arranged around the main body, propel the AP10 through the sky nimbly and at surprisingly quick speeds. The body, while containing a number of sensors and GPS locators, also features a front facing camera that can be adjusted and moved mid-flight by the operator using a special controller, while a linked smart phone is able to stream and record live video while it is still in the air.
For a non-military drone, the AP10 has a remarkable operating range: Up to one kilometer away from its pilot in ideal conditions, both horizontally and vertically. It is also able to remember routes that it has taken previously, using in-built GPS, and then fly those paths again without having to be controlled by a pilot.
For Brian Chacone, director of sales and marketing at AEE Technologies Inc, the potential of commercial UAV’s are set to revolutionise almost every facet of society for the better. “Let’s say a policeman was chasing a bad guy through the streets at night, normally a helicopter with a spotlight would be called in. But helicopters can easily lose sight of a person on the ground. But what if you bolted a compact, high powered LED spotlight to a UAV like [the AP10]? Now the police have a solution that is more nimble, can fly closer to the ground or inside buildings and can assist in ways that a helicopter couldn’t.”
Chacone also noted that aerial drones don’t just have applications in law enforcement, but can also aid humanitarian causes. “I have heard of a doctor in Africa who is looking into how to use drones to deliver medicine or supplies to communities that he isn’t able to reach. With time, and as drones get bett er, drones could be used to carry heavier and heavier loads to these communities in need.”
UAV’s would also have particular relevance in remote areas or those with little infrastructure due to the fact they they run entirely on electricity. If a drone like the AP10 was able to be connected to a solar power source, entire communities would then have access to a tool that was able to bring them supplies without ever having to rely on costly and unsustainable fuel sources.
Of the three different semi-autonomous robots that Appliance Retailer was able to interact with, the UAV is perhaps the most likely to influence our lives the soonest. Drones are already being incorporated into the law enforcement arsenal and online retail giant Amazon is currently in the testing phase of creating a delivery drone fleet; one designed to be able to deliver packages directly to buyers in major population centres in a matter of minutes.
It is also worth noting that Australian textbook retailer Zookal has also expressed a similar interest in delivery drones.