Doesn't matter if you're stalking a herd of elephants along the Serengeti or a Snookie along the Jersey Shore—the MD4-1000 Quadcopter aims to change the way aerial surveillance of everything from wildlife to wildfires is captured.
The MD4-1000, built by MicroDrones Gmbh, is an AUMAV (Autonomous Unmanned Micro Aerial Vehicle) designed to perform remote aerial surveillance—anything from providing forward recon for a military convoy to tailing a celebrity through the streets of New York. Built from carbon fiber reinforced plastic, the modular payload system allows the MD4-1000 to carry a variety of still, video and infrared imaging devices up to 2.1 kg. The MD4-1000 can climb up to 7.5 m/s and cruise at a speed of 15 m/s is powered by four 250W brushless rotors and can stay aloft for up to 70 minutes.
The MD4-1000 employs a AAHRS (Altitude and Attitude and Heading Reference System) that includes accelerometers, gyroscopes, a magnetometer, barometer, hygrometer, and thermometer to monitor its position in the sky and then downlinks that information in real time to a base station. Critical stats about the remaining battery charge, GPS position fix quality, and wind speed are read aloud by the base station so the pilot can keep his eyes where they need to be—on the MD4. It's even got a "black box" to record telemetry data in the event that a pilot crashes it into, say, a lake or Brad Pitt's pool. These 'copters can be operated either remotely—with a maximum range and height of 1000m—or autonomously by employing a GPS Waypoint navigation system.
News Corp owns one and has sent it to cover the recent floods in Mississippi, Alabama and North Dakota. Google reportedly is in testing to see if the MD4-1000 can supplement Google Earth's existing aerial and satellite photography. "The UAVs are well suited to provide more timely recording of the map service Google Earth," Sven Juerss, CEO of MicroDrones, told The REgister. The little fliers have also been adopted by various law enforcement, military, and research organizations for a myriad of purposes.
The MD4-1000 Demo Video
Oh hai, animals!
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