US Army seeks to develop autonomous drone charging system during flight

The battery charge length is a primary problem facing the development of the drone industry, reports

The difficulty being, a vast majority of drones don’t last particularly long in the air before its battery has to be recharged. For short length drone delivery services this may not be a difficulty, but for the military this could be a life or death situation if on a critical surveillance mission, for example. The U.S. Army is looking to change this.

It has funded a four-year research project by funding an USD8 million contract to the University of Illinois, Chicago. Researchers will work on a system that can autonomously charge drones, where there could be charging stations set-up at various locations, and the craft can search for the nearest one and automatically fly there to recharge when its battery power is low.

This means soldiers won’t need to manually charge drones nor carry with them battery packs, thus decreasing their load and freeing up time.

Although, this is not a new concept.

Amazon “Drone Hive”

Back in 2017, Amazon patented an idea referred to as “a drone hive” where such craft could be autonomously flown from and return to a charging platform stationed within many different locations of a country.

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