The md4-200 drone manufactured by Microdrones functions on the basis of AAHRS (Altitude, Attitude and Heading Reference System), which means that the aircraft is steered automatically by an accelerometer, a gyroscope and sensors that measure air pressure, temperature and humidity. GPS input capability provides position hold and autonomous waypoint navigation. Four synchronized, brushless, direct drive (gearless) motors power four rotors, thus delivering a high level of performance. The drone measures 54x54 cm without the rotors and 91x91 cm with the rotors. An onboard camera takes videos or high-definition stills and transmits them via radio signal back to the base station. Depending on payload and temperature, the drone achieves at least 20 minutes of flight time. Security features prevent crashes and provide for autonomous landing in an emergency. The system can be deployed to do aerial photography anywhere an airplane or a helicopter can be used—for example, architectural photography, construction site surveillance, accident documentation, catastrophe investigation, crisis response and for military purposes.
Andreas Steinhauser of the Chaos Computer Club Berlin has been following the development of new technologies with great curiosity for many years now. He attempts to understand and evaluate them, and assess their social relevance. At Ars Electronica, the drone will see action in a number of different settings.
Translated from German by Mel Greenwald
Many thanks to Microdrones GmbH, www.microdrones.com, for providing me with an md4-200 for test purposes!