New 140mph First Responder Drone Can Recharge Itself In Flight
A drone built exclusively for first responders that can reach speeds of more than three times faster than most of the commercial drones currently available is also able to recharge its batteries while in flight.
The 140mph Sonin Hybrid Recruit is able to do so because of its gasoline and battery-powered system, which the firm says it is in the process of patenting.
Unveiled by Atlanta-based drone manufacturer Sonin Hybrid, the Recruit can also fly for longer than three hours and comes equipped with a 30X optical/12X digital zoom4K video camera with fixed and mobile target tracking, a Forward Looking InfraRed camera with night vision, and a spotlight.
In a press release, Sonin Hybrid said its Recruit drone’s enhanced capabilities will ‘keep first responders safe and extend their missions’ in a way that hasn’t previously been possible.
The drone will do so by filling a huge gap in the market; despite the increasing prevalence of drones used by police, firefighters and other government officials, hardly any drones are designed specifically for first responders.
This is largely down to the limitations of battery-powered drones, which typically must reach a charging point within a short period of time. Ultimately, this means long-range missions aren’t viable.
The Recruit drone hopes to change all of this with its carbon fibre body, lightweight airframe and the company’s hybrid system. All of these features will ensure the Recruit flies longer and faster than other similar drones.
‘While we were in the process of finalising the design of our hybrid power system for drones, we realised that we could get the most range by designing our own airframe,’ Curtis Foster, founder of Sonin Hybrid, said in a statement.
The next question was: for who? There were plenty of commercial drones out there, but very few were specifically manufactured for first responders.
Well before the onset of the pandemic, we decided that police and firefighters needed this technology the most, and immediately set out to build the Recruit.
The company is currently in the process of launching beta programs with several police and fire departments across the US ‘to finalise which capabilities are most important to first responders’.
The hope is that an increased use of drones in such capacities will mean shorter response times and better prepared public safety personnel in emergency situations.
And that can only be a good thing, right?
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