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Fantasising about the life of a bird? Could you even be able to fly on your own? Or how could things like that even be made possible? Can a drone lift a person, or fly it even around for a longer time? It is a question that you might have had since you ever heard about drones.
As the drone technology advanced rapidly, the first generation bulky drones have now been replaced with drones that are no larger than your hand. The technique developed quick and now you can fly a drone without being a professional pilot. Manufacturers have already built drones for all kind of purposes. From taking great videos of your holiday to delivering parcels, spraying crops or surveillance. It was only a matter of time to see a drone being built that could lift a person and fly it around. That moment came at CES 2016 in Las Vegas, where Chinese drone manufacturer Ehang unveiled the Ehang 184 drone that was designed to carry and fly a person around.
Here you can see a determined aerial enthusiast already built a custom-manufactured drone, before the Ehang 184 was even born. This custom drone has 54 motors and could carry and fly a person for 10 minutes!
The Ehang 184 was introduced with much fanfare after it demonstrated the ability to transport human from point A to point B.
The developers claim to be able to carry one person with a small bag for 23 minutes at an average speed of 62mph (100km/h). To go for another run, the batteries take about 2 to 4 hours to recharge. The structure of the drone is a mix of carbon fibre composite material and aluminium alloy. Have a look at the video! This is where the future is heading to.
It will take many years for you and me to buy and fly a drone like this. Flying a drone is currently banned in many countries and in some even fully restricted.
Many governments and authorities are concerned about how to safely integrate small drones into the airspace along with commercial aircraft. When this is safely integrated in the airspace, the next step will probably be integrating delivery drones.
Once done, drones that fly or are operated by people could be next. As a pilot licence is very pricy, it is more likely that future drones will be operated fully autonomous. Several succesful autonomous flight tests have been performed with the Ehang 184, but that is no guarantee for authorities at this moment. Autonomous driving cars are not even approved yet, so what to think even about autonomous flying drones?
Flying people around in drones is a very exciting development and keeps us even more interested in future technology. For now, all we can do, is just to keep commuting with our Volkswagen’s, Toyota’s, buses or metros to get us from A to B. But the future in the air will be even brighter!