It is small.
It can fly.
It has four propellers.
It can take pictures and videos.
What is it?!
If you have guessed it as a drone, well, you are some what right...
What we have just described is called a quadrotor drone or a quadcopter.
Have you heard of the quadrotor drone before? If not, don't worry! We will tell you what it is and give a brief history of the quadrotor drone.
What is A Quadrotor Drone?
A Quadrotor drone is a type of battery-powered aircraft that uses four rotors and is remotely controlled using a radio transceiver. Because it is remotely controlled, a quadrotor drone is a type of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), often called a drone.
Brief History of the Quadrotor Drone
The quadrotor drone's history lies all the way back to Louis Breguet's four-rotor helicopter design in the early 1900s. His design was the first heavier-than-air rotorcraft that can take off vertically.
Modern quadrotor drone first emerged in the late 1990s and early 2000s as hobbyist kits. The quadrotor drone gained its popularity in 1999 when the Draganflyer quad helicopter was released and used in the movie Inspector Gadget.
The quadrotor drone continued to grow in popularity during the mid to late 2000s among hobbyists. A French company, Parrot, released the first commercially successful ready-to-fly consumer drone called the A.R Drone in 2010. It was the first quadrotor drone that can be controlled exclusively by a Wi-Fi connection.
The first quadcopter that allowed professional-quality video was released by 3D robotics in 2015. Phantom 4 by DJI came out not long after, boasting a computer vision capability and machine learning that can track a person, animal, or object on the ground without simply following a GPS track.
What is Gyrochute?
A gyrochute is an unpowered safe descent vehicle that relies on the principle of autorotation, not only air resistance. The name comes from the Greek "gyros" as the combination of the term "ring", "circle", and "spiral" and the French word "chute" for "fall".
Similarities of the Quadrotor Drone and the Gyrochute
The quadrotor drone and the gyrochute are a type of UAV. UAV is an aircraft that can navigate without a human pilot on board. In addition, both the quadrotor drone and the gyrochute have a rigid design. This rigid structure provides better strength to control and stabilise the vehicle during descent.
Differences between the Quadrotor Drone and the Gyrochute
The quadrotor drone uses a battery to power the vehicle. Meanwhile, the gyrochute does not require power to function.
The battery in the quadrotor drone allows it to ascend and descend. On the other hand, the gyrochute can only descend because it is not powered.
The quadrotor drone uses four propellers to move the craft upwards and downwards vertically. The purpose of the propeller is to move the aircraft through the air. When the engine rotates the propeller blades, the blades produce lift.
The gyrochute has one propeller that relies on autorotation, a condition during which a helicopter's main rotor is driven only by aerodynamic forces with no power from the engine. Just like the helicopters, autorotation allows the gyrochute to safely land. The kinetic energy stored in the rotating blades is used to decrease the rate of descent and make a soft landing.
In conclusion, the quadrotor drone and the gyrochute are both aerial delivery vehicles with rigid designs. The quadrotor drone can ascend and descend because it has four propellers that are powered by a battery. The gyrochute, on the other hand, is an unpowered aerial vehicle with one propeller that relies on autorotation.