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Buckle up: Cambodian students build manned drone to aid community


PHNOM PENH, Sept 21 (Reuters) – Inspired at first by a need to beat their metropolis’s infamous site visitors, a bunch of Cambodian students have designed a prototype drone that they hope can finally be used to ferry folks round Phnom Penh and even assist struggle fires.

With eight propellers and utilizing a faculty chair for the pilot’s seat, the drone was developed by students on the National Polytechnic Institute of Cambodia (NPIC) on the outskirts of the capital.

“The drone, when we see it flying without a pilot, there is a lot of shaking but when I sit on it and fly… it becomes more stable and I feel so excited,” mentioned Lonh Vannsith, 21, the pilot of the drone.

“We wanted to solve some problems for our society by making a taxi drone and… inventing drones for firefighters,” he mentioned, noting how, for instance, they hoped it might attain the higher flooring of a constructing to convey a hose the place a fireplace truck couldn’t attain.

The prototype can carry a pilot weighing up to 60 kg (132 kilos) and fly for about 10 minutes for a distance of 1 km (0.6 miles). It took three years of analysis and growth and value round $20,000 to build.

While the workforce hopes it’ll finally fly far increased, when manned the drone presently solely rises to as a lot as 4 metres (13.1 toes).

The challenge confronted delays due to lockdowns throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and in addition as elements just like the propellers and the body had to be ordered overseas, mentioned Sarin Sereyvatha, who’s NPIC’s head of analysis and growth expertise.

The workforce plans to enhance the design to enable it to take extra weight, in addition to fly additional and extra stably at the next degree.

“In principle, if we make one drone, the cost is expensive but if we make them to sell on the market, the cost will go down,” mentioned Sarin Sereyvatha.

Reporting by Prak Chan Thul; Editing by Ed Davies and Christian Schmollinger

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Lonh Vannsith, a fourth-year student of the National Polytechnic Institute of Cambodia, and his teammates prepare their manned drone for flight in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, September 17, 2021. REUTERS/Cindy Liu

Students of the National Polytechnic Institute of Cambodia prepare their manned drone for flight, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, September 17, 2021. REUTERS/Cindy Liu

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