Researchers in Malaysia have figured out a way to make drone parts out of the fibers from discarded pineapple leaves.
Instead of being incinerated, the pineapple leaf fibers can be used to make strong, durable frames for drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
It’s all part of efforts to find sustainable uses for pineapple waste generated by farmers in Malaysia’s Hulu Langat district.
“We are transforming the leaf of the pineapple into a fiber that can be used for aerospace application, basically inventing a drone,” project lead Mohamed Thariq Hameed Sultan told Reuters.
He also added that drones made of bio-composite materials exhibited a higher strength-to-weight ratio than their synthetic fiber counterparts.
A major plus point is the fact that these ‘pineapple drones’ are cheaper to build, weigh a lot less than conventional drones, and are much easier to dispose of if they get damaged beyond repair.
Damaged drone frames made out of pineapple leaf fibers can be buried in the ground and degrade in just two weeks.
Though the team’s prototype is currently the size of a smaller drone, they hope to develop technology that will allow them to produce larger drones that are able to carry heavier payloads – like imagery sensors for agricultural purposes and aerial inspections.
The prototypes have been able to fly at altitudes of up to 1,000 meters for as long as 20 minutes at a time.
But these disposable drones aren’t just here for show. Their main long-term purpose is to help farmers increase their yield, while also making their lives a lot easier.
It’s a timely project, considering the bruised economy following the effects of COVID-19.
What do you think about these ‘pineapple drones’?
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Cover image sourced from Reuters.
ที่มา : Mashable