Today, drones are being used for a variety of purposes, including wedding photography, surveillance, and a host of other applications. They may even be used to deliver packages to your door (à la Amazon or Google). In fact, they’re becoming so common that the US Federal Aviation Administration is soon going to require users to register their drones.
However, there is one notable problem with drone technology—they can only stay aloft for so long, and this time is rather limited.
Boston-based aerial robots company CyPhy Works, however, has created a drone called Parc that can stay in flight indefinitely (yes, indefinitely).
Equipped with six rotors and a HD camera capable of producing infrared footage for night vision, Parc can be launched in the sky to perform aerial surveillance and stay aloft for hours, days, or as long as you’d like. It uses a “microfilament” that transmits power and data. Although this limits the distance it can travel, it makes it perfect for home monitoring.
The microfilament tether is thinner than a headphone cable but strong enough to reel the drone in if necessary. The drone can be set to fly completely automatically at a specific altitude.
Besides Parc, CyPhy Works is also developing a small untethered drone for hobbyists and a unique kind of delivery drone that has rotors that can swivel, allowing the aircraft to fly more like a plane, which makes its flight more energy-efficient.
This drone would be able to transport a five-pound cargo for five miles.
The company received $22 million in funding from several VCs, including the world’s largest package delivery company, UPS, which is also interested in exploring drone delivery. The only obstacle hindering this may be the FAA, which still has to set rules to regulate drone usage. In order to fly a drone for commercial purposes, an exemption is required. The same restrictions on where and when drones can be flown also apply.