Mighty Morphin’ Power Drones: Berkeley Team Creates a Drone That Can Shrink and Go Anywhere

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Drones are taking over everything and you’re about to see them everywhere – literally.

The Lazy Artist Gallery from Pexels.

That’s because researchers at the University of California – Berkeley developed a drone that can shrink and “squeeze” through tight spaces which basically means it can go anywhere it wants to travel.

Specifically, UC Berkeley’s High Performance Robotics Laboratory (HiPeRLab) developed what they are calling a “Passively Morphing Quadcopter” that can “temporarily” shrink itself to get through spaces that other drones cannot, according to a report by DPReview.

And, just in case you were wondering, yes, it can do this while flying around but, what is even more impressive for this author, it isn’t the first drone to do that. No, the special feature here is that the HiPeRLab quadcopter actually does all of this without any new hardware to help it do so.

What that means in practice is that the device uses less power when in operation which results in a longer flight time. The idea behind the drone’s usage is that it will be able to reach spaces that humans cannot and do it quickly and efficiently.

That could have a range of uses from search and rescue applications to science and research as well as exploration.

But, since we’re photographers and videographers here, many people are pointing out the possibilities for both of those mediums with a drone capable of adapting its shape to overcome space obstacles it encounters.

We could really get some innovative work using such technology and it really emphasizes just how much drones promise to change not only our field but every other one out there.

You can watch a video of the drone in action by clicking here.

What do you think? Do you use drones currently? Do you plan on it? How do you think it will impact photography five, ten years from now? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Also, don’t forget to check out the other photography news articles on Light Stalking by clicking here.

[DPReview]

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Kehl is our staff photography news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here

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