This drone has only two propellers, for twice as much autonomy

In order to double the autonomy of a drone, a scientist from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne has developed a drone with two counter-rotating superimposed rotors. An algorithm guarantees stability.

The drones quadrotor are accurate, stable and reliable, but when it comes to reducing their size, the multiplication of the reduced engine battery. This consumption is also amplified by a proportionately larger battery weight for a small drone.
To solve this problem, Samir Bouabdallah, from the startup Flybotix incubated at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), has developed a drone rotor. The device, 30 cm wide, has two rotors and therefore two superimposed propellers. They are counter-rotating, that is to say, that the propellers rotate in the opposite direction, as for some models of helicopters.

Halve the propellers to double the autonomy

This is not really an invention in terms of drone, since this kind of configuration already exists for years. With his model, the researcher says he has managed to multiply the autonomy by two, compared to a quadrotor of the same size. The real novelty is that instead of being equipped with a mechanical system modulating the pitch of the propeller blades, the stabilization relies entirely on algorithms. It is this process that also increases the capacity of the battery.

For this drone that is already functional, Samir Bouabdallah focuses on industrial applications including drone surveillance of facilities. It is also for the purpose of this use that the aircraft has a foam rim that is as light as it is capable of absorbing shocks. The startup has already made some contacts in China to start marketing its device.