They build a drone inspired by a da Vinci blueprint

File photo. | Credit: The Print Collector (Print Collector/)

In addition to being an acclaimed artist who gave life to iconic works such as ‘La Gioconda’ (the Mona Lisa) and ‘The Last Supper’, Leonardo da Vinci is recognized for being an inventor “ahead of his time” because within the plans that can be found of his authorship, there are some sketches of flying machines, some with more complex concepts than others; but nevertheless, highlights the design of a peculiar helicopter that has been tested today, and to everyone’s surprise, it works, proving the genius right.

Inspired by the ‘Archimedean Screw’, the inventor made plans for what would be a ‘aerial screw‘, which he captured in several drawings; however, a team from the University of Maryland took da Vinci’s proposal more seriously and decided to build an unmanned drone inspired by da Vinci’s design and got it to fly.

The initiative was motivated by a master’s project and by a series of computer simulations and some prototypes that showed that perhaps the Italian’s idea was not so far-fetched.

Leonardo da Vinci Flying Machine
File photo. | Credit: Kean Collection (Kean Collection/)

The shape of the ‘flying screw’ is similar to that of a corkscrew with the aim of ‘pushing’ the air down to achieve a vertical takeoff. The drawing created in the late 1480s was recreated through a small drone; but nevertheless, the researchers behind the prototype said the technology could eventually work with a machine big enough to carry a human.

The students of the University of Maryland took advantage of modern materials such as aluminum and plastic to carry out the idea that the Italian inventor conceived with the limitations of his time, in addition, they incorporated elements such as electric motors, batteries and even power systems into the design. computer control that made the operation of the aircraft possible.

File photo. | Credit: University of Maryland/Austin Prete

It should be noted that the design is not identical to the one created in the fifteenth century, since the researchers used the quadcopter technology of the drones so that the flight of the device baptized as ‘Crimson Spin’ was possible, since it would have been much more complex to achieve the operation of a device built with a single axis as a conventional helicopter.

Beyond the concept, there are still some challenges to be solved such as the weight of aerial screws on a larger scale and the instability that would be generated, so it is possible that such a concept does not try to go beyond a university laboratory.

This is why they banned drones in the United Arab Emirates

Recreational drones have been one of the devices whose market has been growing; however, for some people it has become a privacy and even security problem, as is the case with United Arab Emirates, where the government has banned hobbyists from flying drones following news of an alleged drone attack on an oil facility in Abu Dhabi.

The ban was announced by the Ministry of the Interior, which also extends to small aircraft such as gliders, and, despite the fact that the entity did not mention more details about the recent attacks, it spoke of an “improper use detected”, since it has the evidence that drone pilots “invaded areas where this type of activity is prohibited” and emphasized the need to “guarantee the safety of lives and property.”

APNews indicated that the incident “involved both ballistic missiles and explosive-laden drones” at an oil facility and the Abu Dabhi airport, an attack that left three people dead. Although there are some clear details such as the size and model of the drones used in the attack, it is known that this action was attributed to the Houthi rebel group, backed by Iran, which currently controls much of Yemen and is fighting against a coalition forces of some Arab countries, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Previously, the Houthi rebels have already used small drones in coordinated attacks against territories such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia; however, it is the first time that the nation recognizes them and it is also the first that takes the lives of three people and leaves six others injured.

By banning the use of recreational drones and small planes, the UAE hopes to maintain tighter control of the skies, as APNews indicates, the country has already restricted flights to residential areas and near airports.

It should be noted that, compared to the norm, there may be exceptions, since according to the Ministry of the Interior, “employment contracts or commercial or advertising projects that depend on drone filming” can process the necessary permits to carry out said activities.


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