Facebook patents a drone that uses kites to stay afloat in the air for longer

Filed in November 2018, the Facebook patent talks about a drone called "dual-kite aerial vehicle".

Facebook has filed a patent for a drone that could stay afloat in the air with the help of two kites. The concept, named as "dual-kite aerial vehicle" included the use of two kites tethered together so that they can stay in the air at two different altitudes at the same time.

The drone would be able to extend its flight time due to these kites with minimum fuel usage. This move clearly shows Facebook's interest in developing drones and it is not unexpected as we have seen Facebook working on Project Aquila earlier.

For the uninitiated, Project Aquila was a project which was meant to deal with the problem of low internet connectivity by using big solar-powered drones. The patent was published on 30 May and filed back in November last year.

(Also Read: Facebook’s AI division fair is now reportedly experimenting with robotics)

Representational image. Pixabay.

Representational image. Pixabay.

Looking at the concept of using the kites to keep the drone flying is interesting as kites are both lightweight and cost-effective. This concept takes care of pretty much everything effectively when compared to traditional aerial vehicles. Also, the drone might use solar power to generate energy the same way it was used in Project Aquila.

It is being speculated that this drone may be used in areas where there is a lack of proper infrastructure to have better internet connectivity. Although in this case, there are still many questions that need to be answered like how will these kites survive in the case of windy, rainy weather or with other objects in the air like birds.

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Recently, we also had a report which stated that Facebook has joined hands with leading aeronautics firm Airbus to test similar drones in Australia which hints that we might hear about Facebook drones soon. However, none of is suggestive of the fact that Facebook is making a drone or if this is just a concept that is a part of a bigger project that they are working on. Facebook filing the patent, in this case, doesn't mean that they are announcing or confirming that they are launching a drone.



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