China's robot helicopter ready for market
SHENYANG, May 22, 2009 (Xinhua via COMTEX) --
Chinese scientists said Friday
their independently developed robot helicopter, which can fly
automatically without remote control, was ready for production.
The Shenyang Automation Institute under the Chinese Academy of
Sciences has taken four years to develop two types of the robot.
The larger model at 3 meters long is almost the size of a small
car, weighs 120 kg and has a payload of up to 40 kg. It can fly
for 4 hours at a maximum cruising speed of 100 km per hour.
The smaller model weighs 40 kg and has a payload of 15 kg and
maximum cruising speed of 70 km per hour.
Installed with a camera, the robot can hang in the air to catch
aerial images, and search for or trace targets automatically.
Researchers in the institute said the robot could fly missions
based on assigned coordinates and control programs, when wind
gusts were below a velocity of force six (11 km per hour).
"They are fueled by petroleum and priced from 700,000 (102,000
U.S. dollars) to 2 million yuan," said Wu Zhenwei, a researcher at
the institute based in northeast China's Liaoning Province.
"We do not have any marketing plan for the robot. But if there
are orders, we can make small-scale production, like 20 to 30
units," he said.
Wu said the institute had no corporate partners for large scale
The robot project was funded by the central government and
listed as a national key research project in 2006 because of its
prospects for use in collecting information or carrying cargoes in
harsh conditions such as earthquakes or poison gas leaks. It can
also be used for spraying pesticides.
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