Watch this origami drone tackle a crucial problem with drone delivery


One of the delights of living in an age of rapid prototyping and exploding hardware development is the sheer novelty of the designs we're seeing. This folding drone caught my eye for its elegance. It may also provide a practical solution to a vexing problem at the intersection of ecommerce, transportation, and state and municipal regulation: How can delivery by drone be made safe in densely populated urban areas? Researchers from NCCR Robotics, and the Floreano lab at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland drew inspiration from origami and folding space shelters to create this cargo drone. Its foldaway cage helps protect bystanders and untrained operators from whirling rotors--a big concern with delivery drones.