Toby Lankford, developer of aerial and personal robotics has developed a fully 3D printed solar UAV he calls Icarus 3.0 to detect illegal poachers in Africa. The UAV is set to run on solar power and hydrogen, solely on green energy.
Lankford announced, “I work with civilian UAS and ground robotics across several fields from survey to anti-poaching. I like working in open sourced projects and contributing to overcome development and application challenges. We live completely off grid for over three years and our hackerspace and all we develop is off grid as well.”
The project is open sourced and published on Thingiverse, and Lankford hopes to see suggestions and improvements on the project as he continues to compete for the 2015 Hackaday Prize award.
Lankford will implement both the 3D printing technology and aerial engineering to use dual extrusion built on a modular design and 3D printing the wings.
The UAV has a LOKI sensor system with a gimbal that is capable of holding board cameras that weigh up to 150 grams. As of now, Lankford has integrated a 90 gram camera with a two-axis gimbal, weighing the whole UAV at around 170 grams.
Lankford said, “We are able to use high end camera modules for thermal, multispectral, and visible light images and video. All camera modules are digitally connected and the plane of course communicates through a long range mesh network or GSM module, providing a live encrypted link.”
The UAV will detect poacher by using customized image recognition software and cloud control which will allow anyone to control it anywhere. This means that the UAV can be controlled in another African country like South Africa and spy on poachers in the forests of countries in North Africa and sub-Saharan states.