Researchers at Caltech and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) have created SQUID (Streamlined Quick Unfolding Investigation Drone), which can be loaded into a cannon and shot into the sky where its rotors are deployed for stabilization and controlled flight. This design is fully 3D printable, launches from a three-inch diameter barrel, and has sufficient thrust to carry a significant payload. Read more for a video and additional information.
Most already know that perfecting the take off process is the most difficult phase of flying a drone because it has to clear various obstacles, but if you launch it into the air before attempting flight, they can be avoided, thus making SQUID perfect for space or even out at sea during rescue operations. This prototype measures 27 centimeters long is 8 centimeters wide, all crammed into a 530 gram package.