One of the biggest draws to drones is the fact that they represent freedom to consumers. You can fly using your drone and see the world from that vantage point which is as close as you can get to owning your own aircraft. Now though, you can design your own drones through the use of 3D-Printing technology. You can customize such things as the design of the drone, the construction of the drone and even its abilities.
This is exactly what Roby Lankford is doing with his Icarus 3.0 and he has some pretty lofty plans for his drone. One of his plans is the use of his drones to catch criminals. The other is to power his drones entirely of solar and hydrogen power. His project also has the potential of winning the 2015 Hackaday Prize which he enters every year.
Lankford is used to such challenges and his autonomous nature makes him the perfect maker of drone technology that gives owners plenty of freedom when it comes to creating and ultimately flying their drones. His interest was also influenced by growing up in Texas where there is a need to create a better system for growing and distributing food. He also intends to use the drones to catch poachers.
Lankford says, “I work with civilian UAS and ground robotics across several fields from survey to anti-poaching. I like working in open sourced projects and contributing to overcome development and application challenges. We live completely off grid for over three years and our hackerspace and all we develop is off grid as well.”
The matter of making his Icarus 3.0 project open source is already in place with the Thingiverse and it will be available to those who intend on creating their drones using 3-D Printing as well as those who are interested in aerial engineering. Lankford made the wings in one 3-D Print through dual extrusion as well as with the hinges built into the modular design.
The Icarus 3.0 is slated to be the flying plane that can fly the longest under 5g which will be able to last for up to 12 hours, and will also be capable of automated takeoff and landing. It is also going to have such features such as Rapid payload and power switching, as well as solar powers as fuel, with alternate ability to use hydrogen. It will also be able to fly as far as 200 km if all things go as planned, and would even be able to fly for 180 minutes.