Kickstarter drone yeair! is shaking things up
This Kickstarter drone is combustion powered and open sourced, it may just be the quadcopter of the future
The yeair! Kickstarter drone has generated a lot of buzz and, along the way, is closing in on its crowd funding target of $76,902. With 57 days to go they have already raised over $61,000 and appear to be another crowd funding success story in the making.
What did we do when we saw this? Of course, we reached out to the team to ask a few questions. Before the interview, however, here is an overview of the project with the team’s Kickstarter drone video:
Here is our interview with the yeair! team.
Q. Using a combustion engine seems like a great idea, what made you decide the time was right for this approach?
Multicopters have grown up rapidly during the past few years, but conventional approaches appear to have reached their limits. With our contribution to the market we also want to push the whole scene with a bit of creativity and freshness.
The idea came up in 2012, and, following nearly two years of development we are now “ready to fly“.
Q. What are the downsides, the risk, with the use of combustion engines in a drone?
At first blush one might quickly think of potential downsides of a combustion engine (i.e. environmental, safety concerns). On closer examination, however, these can be put into perspective.
For example, the negative effect of emissions can be reduced by utilizing fuels out of renewable resources or neutralized by emission trading.
Possible risks, the danger of fire, for example, can be compared to that of a car vehicle which we all
normally consider safe and reliable. We decided to integrate a “Ducted Fan”-construction which provides a very high degree of safety with common use.
Q. 60 minutes of flight time is incredible in comparison to other drones on the market today. With a combustion engine in place the limiting factor to the amount of fuel has to be weight, right? Are you considering options that would increase these flight times even further?
You’re right, the balance between lifting power and fuel weight is crucial. It would be more effecient to integrate a charged combustion engine, but this not very trivial at small dimensions. This will be considered for a future version but is not expected in the very near future.
Q. What has been the largest technology hurdle for you to overcome?
The regulation of the electrical driver for the electrical unit. In particular the braking torque and the corresponding energetic recovery system was very difficult.
Q. I LOVE that you have open sourced the platform. Will you eventually create an app store of some sort to enable end users to download approved applications?
This is exactly what i have in my mind. Developers could add new features to the app and customers may contribute their ideas. This way, we’ll be able provide the best possible quality for the consumer.
Were there other questions we should have asked the yeair! team about their Kickstarter drone?