Saturday, December 21, 2013

AirMule takes UAS technology to a new dimension

UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) technology comes in all shapes and sizes these days. Although the bigger ones are mostly used by the armed forces for international reconnaissance and in some cases attack, like the Predator B.
A system developed by the Tactical Robotics LTD a subsidiary of the the Urban Aeronautics LTD based in Israel have developed a unique UAS system which due to its VTOL and and high maneuverability, can perform a multitude of tasks and could possibly take the capability of UAS to a totally new level in terms of both civilian and military use.

At first glance it looks something straight from a SciFi action movie. The Aircraft is only slightly larger than the size of a standard Hummer. The biggest advantage for this aircraft are the internal lift rotors (Enclosed in the body) which gives it the benefit of flying in mountainous and urban environments, conventional helicopters or other multirotor platforms have a risk in such environments due to their exposed rotors.

Airmule Specs
  • Total available cargo volume is 2,640 liters
  • AirMule can hover at a place with high precision and operate in harsh weather and winds of up to 50 knots (92km/hr), a significant improvement over existing helicopters.
  • AirMule is equipped with a rocket deployed parachute, that will safely lower the complete vehicle and its payload from almost any height in the case of an unlikely malfunction of its engine or lift rotors.
  • AirMule is designed on the most stringent FAA design requirements for rotor aircraft.
  • AirMule can be used either as a remotely piloted vehicle where a human controls it or it can be sent on a completely autonomous pre-programmed mission.
  • The AirMule is innovative due to its internal rotors and significant payload capacity that allows for the evacuation of 2 casualties as well as fast and flexible payload reconfiguration for other missions.  It is also ideally suited for special robotic operation via Tele-Presence.
  • It can precisely take off and land within an area of 40 Square meters.
All that said the platform is still under development, a "Full Mission Demonstration" is expected to be carried out next year with a newer prototype.

Check out some video Extract from some of its trial runs:


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