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A Breakthrough for Prop Failure Revovery in Quadcopters

Recent developments in onboard quadcopter software allows pilots to maintain stable flight despite the complete loss of a motor, propeller or ESC .

The researchers from the Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control (IDSC) in Zurich, Switzerland have created an algorithm allowing a quadcopter to maintain stable flight despite the complete loss of a motor, propeller or electronic speed controller (ESC).

Although the technology is still under development it provides a glimpse into the future where a simple propeller failure due to a broken prop or a fried ESC  (as in our famous  DJI Phantom 2 Death Drop Video) will be a thing of the past and it could not have come at a better time. With pilots now adding  even more expensive cameras to their rigs and with the increasing popularity of the hobby this advancement should provide a level of relief to anyone that has suffered the dreaded death drop from a multirotor failure.

quadcopter_crashWhat this means for RC Heli Pilots

Up to this point in the industry the only way a multicopter could survive the loss of a propeller, motor, or ESC was by having redundancy by adding more rotors or a parachute system like demonstrated in the MARS Parachute system. However, this redundancy comes at the cost of additional structural weight, which in turn, reduces the vehicle’s useful payload.

This breakthrough will allow the quads to be trusted a little more when flying in dangerous situations such as when your flight path is near people since they will have a better chance of survival. Having the ability to automatically and gracefully recover from a major failure is one of the most critical breakthroughs to happen to the hobby in recent years.

With that being said as always we highly recommend that you take caution no matter where you fly to make sure you are being safe and not putting anybody in danger of injury from a failure in your RC helicopter.

When will this tech be available?

This technology is patent pending, and we hope that it will soon be available as a product on most commercial platforms. I’m sure that the major multirotor companies are researching and investing in this cool tech in one way shape or form. Speaking from experience I would hope sooner than later!

Question: Have you ever experienced an in-flight failure that resulted in a crash? Add your comments to the page below. 

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