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.
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.