Researchers from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) have successfully created an eco-friendly drone from natural fibers or biocomposite materials, specifically from pineapple leaves. It is the first of its kind to be built with this approach, and is claimed to be able to fly up to 30 meters with about 20 minutes of air time.
According to research team head Prof Dr Mohamed Thariq bin Hameed Sultan, the drone – known as Putra Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) – features a frame made of natural fibers and is electrical resistant, thus capable of preventing the occurrence of short circuits. It also includes rechargeable motors, blades and batteries, as well as easily repairable in the event of minor damage.
Drones made from natural materials have a higher strength ratio based on weight when compared with those created from synthetic fibers such as plastic or aluminium, he added. These materials are cheap and readily available and, most importantly, are biodegradable in case that certain parts are no longer needed.
Mohamed Thariq explained that the eco-friendly drone is part of a project by UPM that is aiming to develop an ecosystem of machines created by biocomposite materials from pineapple leaves. Rather than disposing or burning these leaves after cultivation, the researcher said that they can be gathered in large quantities to produce parts. He added that 300gm of pineapple leaves can produce four pieces of plates that are part of the Putra UAV.
(Source / Images: Astro Awani)