Photo credit: Lim Huey Teng | Reuters
A team of researchers from Malaysia have figured out how to turn the fiber found in discarded pineapple leaves into a rigid material that can be used to manufacture frames for drones. These unmanned aircraft made from bio-composite material were found to have a higher strength-to-weight ratio than those made from synthetic fibers, while also being much more cost efficient. The result is a drone with a lighter frame that is easier to dispose of, as damaged units can just be buried in the ground and have it degrade within 2-weeks. Read more for a video and additional information.
The prototype drone can fly to a height of 3,280-feet and stay in the air for about 20 minutes. Ultimately, they plan to make a larger drone out of these pineapple leaves to accommodate heavier payloads, like imagery sensors, for agricultural purposes as well as aerial inspections.
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We are transforming the leaf of the pineapple into a fibre that can be used for aerospace application, basically inventing a drone. Our role here is to help the industry, the farmers, to increase their yield and make their jobs much easier,” said Professor Mohamed Thariq Hameed Sultan to Reuters.