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Regulations and battery technology standing in the way of making more advanced drones, expert says

LOGAN, Utah – Drones are used today for a variety of tasks including search and rescue missions, package delivery, surveillance, and photography.

People also use them for drone racing, a hobby that has grown in popularity over the years from enthusiasts like Kevin Plaizier.

“Drone races are becoming increasingly popular. There are local races in Utah every year. During the summer, they are run about once a month,” Plaizier said.

He is also a safety pilot and electrical engineer at AggieAir, a drone research division Utah State University.

In June, Plaizier has won an international drone design competition for its Lynchpin model drone with a cash prize of $ 25,000.

The drone he makes has 12 motors, all of which are at different angles, which is different from the standard drones that you can buy in stores and online.

“All of the motors are in different directions, which gives the drone the ability to hover in any direction, so you can turn it upside down, hover sideways and still have full control of the drone,” said Plaizier.

The drone engineer and enthusiast believes that as designs evolve, drones can do more, such as moving people from one place to another, but that also depends on how fast battery technologies advance.

Plaizier said a lot of drones bought these days might give you 30 minutes of flight time and if you try to power a drone taxi you now have a lot more weight and bulk to deal with.

He also believes that the way drones are regulated is preventing them from making any progress in the use of drones.

“The delivery of drones could take place today if the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) allows it five years ago and allows these companies to pursue that goal,” said Plaizier.

There is hope that the FAA will work with drone manufacturers like Plaizier to approve safe concepts faster so they can be put to good use.

The drone engineer said much of the technology needed to evolve drones is already available, but developers are awaiting legal approval to operate them out of the line of sight of the person flying them.

To learn more about FAA regulations for drone operators, click Here.

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