Researchers at the Technical University of Denmark have created a drone capable of vertical takeoff and landing, like a helicopter, and long range, high speed flight, like a traditional plane. The Smart Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV): Muninn VXI UAV contains rotors inside the main body area and is capable of both a heavier payload and a quieter entrance than NASA’s recently released Greased Lightning. Boasting accuracy within 5 centimeters, the Muninn flies as both a helicopter and fixed wing aircraft.
The Smart UAV prototype is the result of a partnership between the Technical University of Denmark, Sky-Watch A/S, Innovation Fund Denmark and Boeing. In 2016, the group will launch the Muninn VX1 prototype to the market.
Drones, such as Muninn, can aid Department of Defense efforts by having the capability to take pictures during flight, which would be beneficial for reconnaissance. Michael Linden-Vørnle, head of DTU Space DroneCenter which facilitates drone research at DTU said, “[This prototype] enables consulting engineers, local authorities as well as other public authorities and private enterprises to collect data faster and more accurately than previously. Also, police and emergency services can use the Smart UAV to get an overview of an emergency situation and deploy rescue helicopters or firefighters, where they can be most useful.”