Malaysian researchers have developed a way to rework the fibre present in usually discarded pineapple leaves to make a robust materials that can be utilized to construct the frames for unmanned plane, or drones.
The challenge, headed by Professor Mohamed Thariq Hameed Sultan at Malaysia’s Putra University, has been looking for sustainable makes use of for pineapple waste generated by farmers in Hulu Langat, an space about 65 km (40 miles) from Kuala Lumpur.
“We are transforming the leaf of the pineapple into a fibre that can be used for aerospace application, basically inventing a drone,” he informed Reuters at a workshop.
Mohamed Thariq mentioned drones made out of the bio-composite materials had a better strength-to-weight ratio than these produced from artificial fibres, and had been additionally cheaper, lighter, and simpler to eliminate.
If the drone was broken, the body could possibly be buried within the floor and would degrade inside two weeks, he mentioned.
The prototype drones have been capable of fly to a peak of about 1,000 metres (3,280 ft) and keep within the air for about 20 minutes, he added.
Ultimately, the analysis staff hopes to create a bigger drone to accommodate larger payloads, together with imagery sensors, for agricultural functions and aerial inspections.
“Our role here is to help the industry, the farmers, to increase their yield and make their jobs much easier,” mentioned William Robert Alvisse of the Malaysian Unmanned Drones Activist Society, a non-governmental group serving to to design the drone and advising on the challenge.
Before the challenge launched in 2017, pineapple stems had been discarded after the once-in-a-year harvest interval, however farmers hope the drones challenge will encourage extra innovation to search out makes use of for the waste and enhance incomes.
“With the well being difficulty, the economic system drawback because of COVID-19, the society is determined and there’s no different to extend revenue,” mentioned pineapple farmer Irwan Ismail.
© Thomson Reuters 2020
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