Chinese scientists reveal prototype drone that can fly and swim

February 8, 2023  21:36

Chinese scientists have created a prototype drone that can move both in the air and underwater. The TJ-FlyingFish is fully autonomous and will be able to operate without human intervention, New Atlas reported.

The quadcopter is equipped with four two-stage motor systems. To move through the air, all four motors point upward and rotate at maximum speed. To dive into the water, they tilt 180° and rotate more slowly, dragging the drone under water. For underwater maneuvers, the drone adjusts the angle of the motors if necessary.

Researchers from China's Intelligent Autonomous Systems Research Institute, Tongji University and the Unmanned Systems Research Group at the University of Hong Kong, which developed the device, say the TJ-FlyingFish is lighter than other experimental aquadrones, which typically just add underwater equipment to a standard square body. The TJ-FlyingFish weighs 1.63 kg, can hover in the air for just six minutes on a single battery charge, and has an operating time in the water of up to 40 minutes.

Besides, Professor Ben Chen from the Chinese University of Hong Kong claims that the drone is fully autonomous and does not need the help of an operator.

Scientists suggest using quadcopters in search and rescue and underwater research to save human resources. The authors of TJ-FlyingFish plan to present a report on their invention at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics to be held in May 2023 in London in.

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