Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is the best university in the world according to the QS World University Rankings 2016-17, a title which it has been bagging quite a few times over the years. And yes, MIT has the brilliant minds from all over the world working together to change the face of technology. It is yet again out with something unbelievable for the common minds – A Drone which can fly in the air for 5 days straight!

MIT Team who made special Drone

A team of MIT engineers surprised the world last month by launching the highly-anticipated Jungle Hawk Owl. It was the first time that the 24-foot-wide drone soared high. The team believes that – which you may or may not believe – that it can stay in the air for five days, yeah that’s right! And there is more – this drone is able to do so with a single tank of engine!

MIT has always come out with a new element of surprise every day, unravelling the mysteries of science and technology for a better and modern future ahead.

This drone was specially designed for overcoming the challenge that was posed by the U.S. Army. MIT was asked to design a UAV that is powered by the solar energy and has the ability to stay in the air for longer durations of time.

For even drone enthusiast like me, this is unbelievable but so cool. The class-apart drone was designed to communicate with areas impacted by various disasters – natural or man-made.

For a long time, the traditional choice for delivering communication in such a circumstance has been the weather balloons. These balloons cannot be relied on as they drift along with the wind, thereby breaking the communication channels made earlier.

The solar powered drone idea was soon abandoned by the teams at the Beaver Works Lab at MIT. According to the team, the solar technologies that are currently there with the human race are incapable of providing the energy requirements of a drone. Why so? Well, to create energy of such high magnitude, you need a colossal drone with copious surface area. But wait, there is more – you also need to couple the massive drone with a very very heavy battery. This is not the best option right?

prototype of a lightweight drone

And there is always a brilliant team that outshines the rest in MIT. This team designed an awesome prototype of a lightweight drone using carbon fiber and Kevlar, totalling the weight to – OMG, yes – 55 pounds only! This drone uses the spectacular GPkit, designed by Hoburg, which is a Python-based modelling tool.

The fantastic part is not yet been disclosed… Tada!

Believe it or not – but this drone can be very easily dissembled and shipped to the areas where the communication has been jammed or areas of emergency. The payload built fits perfectly with the sleek design of the drone. It has the exact amount of space required for a communication device – a special one – designed by the geniuses in the MIT’s Lincoln Labs. As the old adage goes, “Alone we can do so little, and together we can do so much”

There are always a lot of people behind a successful invention that joined hands and worked hard to finally achieve the goal.

The show is not over, pals! Guess what! The team believes that it can help the leading social networking tech bros – Facebook & Google – to achieve their dream of provide internet access to the rural areas.


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