Disposable Paper Drones

A disposable or even biodegradable glider/drone can be used to deliver payloads from a powered aircraft to ground positions. The gliders are made from paper, cardboard, or other disposable materials and can be steered to a landing point using a small embedded electronic element.

APSARA Compilation Video

– [youtube.com]

A compilation video showing the operational concept and real-world testing of the APSARA disposable emergency relief drone designed and built by Otherlab’s Everfly team.

Industrial Paper Airplanes for Autonomous Aerial Delivery – [otherlab.com]

What do you do when you need to supply goods where there are no roads? A team of engineering researchers at Otherlab, a cutting-edge engineering R&D laboratory in San Francisco’s Mission District, have received DARPA funding to develop an unprecedented and perhaps surprising approach: the world’s most advanced industrial paper airplanes.

These Paper Drones Are Built for One-Way Missions – [technologyreview.com]

Under a grant from DARPA, San Francisco-based Otherlab has built prototype drones out of cardboard that are designed to airdrop things like medicine, batteries, and communication devices into dangerous or hard-to-reach places.

The gliders are pre-programmed with their landing destination, then launched from a cargo plane or other aircraft (in tests, one was launched from a bigger drone). A small electronics package then steers each craft to its target. But with no motors and no need of a battery or fuel, they are meant to have as much room as possible for payload.

These Mushroom-Based Drones Eat Themselves at Mission’s End – [airspacemag.com]

DARPA “seeks proposals for the design and prototyping of vanishing air delivery vehicles capable of precise, gentle drops of small payloads. These precision vehicles must be guaranteed to rapidly physically disappear following safe payload delivery. Proposed efforts must integrate engineered vanishing materials into advanced aerodynamic designs to produce an autonomously vanishing, field-testable prototype vehicle.”

Responding to DARPA’s call, the San Francisco-based R&D firm Otherlab developed a glider prototype with an 8:1 glide ratio, capable of delivering one kilogram of payload using onboard navigation and guidance. By using a glider the design eliminates motors and batteries, which allows more space and weight for cargo. The firm recently released a photograph of a cardboard prototype they call APSARA (for Aerial Platform Supporting Autonomous Resupply Actions).

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