Pilotless drone to transport humans, on display

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Pilotless drone to transport humans, on display

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Pilotless drone to transport humans, on display

By Ofonime Essien


Pilotless drone

Ehang 184


Chinese drone maker Ehang has unveiled what it calls the world’s first drone capable of carrying a human passenger.

The Guangzhou, China-based company pulled the cloth off the Ehang 184 at the Las Vegas Convention Center during the CES gadget show. In a company video showing it flying, it looks like a small helicopter but with four doubled propellers spinning parallel to the ground like other drones.

The electric-powered drone can be fully charged in two hours, carry up to 100kg and fly for 23 minutes at sea level, according to Ehang.

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The cabin fits one person. With propellers folded up, it’s designed to fit in a single parking spot.

After setting a flight plan, passengers only need to give two commands, ‘take off’ and ‘land’, each controlled by a single click on a Microsoft Surface tablet, the company said.

It is designed to fly about 300 metres off the ground with a top speed of 100km/h.

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US authorities are just starting to lay out guidelines for drone use, and a human-passenger drone seems certain to face strict scrutiny.

Ehang co-founder Shang Hsiao said the company hopes to sell the device for $US200,000 (A$282,000) to $US300,000 beginning this year but acknowledged it occupies a legal ‘grey area.’

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‘The whole world never had something like this before,’ he said.

A passenger would have no controls as a back-up, he said. In the event of a problem the company plans a remote control centre that would take over the vehicle and ensure it lands safely, he said.

Source: Sky News



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About Author

Ofonime Essien

Mr. Ofonime A. Essien, is a Helicopter Pilot. He is also a Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA), Oracle Certified Associate (OCA), a Computer Forensics Expert, a Blogger, Web Master, a Writer and an Entrepreneur. He is an avid reader. He likes motivating others to achieve their dreams through writing and speaking.

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