A Japanese company showed a crane-shaped drone made from paper and 3D prints. It’s energy-efficient, flies like a bird and is just beautiful.
Drones are, in all honesty, a pretty cool technology. Who doesn’t want one to pick up a pizza or deliver a letter? Unfortunately, they also carry numerous negative connotations. In fact, earlier this year it became illegal for citizens in Japan to fly them near political centers, due to a few previous “incidents.” Skepticism and concern surround the technology. The future of drones seems negative, and daunting.
Enter Japanese company LAPIS Semiconductor, and the “Lazurite Fly,” a 3D printed paper crane drone. The bird is controlled by remote control and modeled to mimic the actual, natural movement of birds. Moreover, the crane carries incredible symbolic importance for the country. A national icon, the crane is a creature almost anyone could get behind.
Is that… paper?
Your eyes aren’t tricking you: the Lazurite Fly is, in fact, made with paper. With a 3D printed skeleton at its core, the crane’s exterior is made with layers of paper. The seemingly impossible combination of batteries, sensors, nylon, and paper is also very light, weighing only 31 grams, and is 70cm long.
The paper crane is far more than just a pretty toy. In fact, the microcomputer is designed for high efficiency. The SD-sized computer is supposedly 90% more energy efficient than other technologies, like Arduino, and can fly five minutes on one charge, alone.
However, Lazurite Fly is far from finished. LAPIS hopes to partner with venture companies and further develop the technology. In the far off future, the company does plan to make the technology open to the public.
LAPIS has created the unthinkable: a graceful drone. The moment its wings flap, and it takes off, the drone seems almost like a real bird, or at least something out of a fantasy. They’ve not only set high standards for efficiency; they’ve also set the bar for more creative designs and applications.
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