Malaysian researchers have developed a way to rework the fibre present in usually discarded pineapple leaves to make a robust materials that can be utilized to construct the frames for unmanned plane, or drones.
The undertaking, headed by Professor Mohamed Thariq Hameed Sultan at Malaysia’s Putra College, has been looking for sustainable makes use of for pineapple waste generated by farmers in Hulu Langat, an space about 65 km (40 miles) from Kuala Lumpur.
“We’re reworking the leaf of the pineapple right into a fibre that can be utilized for aerospace software, principally inventing a drone,” he advised Reuters at a workshop.
Mohamed Thariq mentioned drones made out of the bio-composite materials had the next strength-to-weight ratio than these comprised of artificial fibres, and had been additionally cheaper, lighter, and simpler to eliminate.
If the drone was broken, the body might be buried within the floor and would degrade inside two weeks, he mentioned.
The prototype drones have been in a position to fly to a peak of about 1,000 metres (3,280 ft) and keep within the air for about 20 minutes, he added.
In the end, the analysis workforce hopes to create a bigger drone to accommodate greater payloads, together with imagery sensors, for agricultural functions and aerial inspections.
“Our position right here is to assist the trade, the farmers, to extend their yield and make their jobs a lot simpler,” mentioned William Robert Alvisse of the Malaysian Unmanned Drones Activist Society, a non-governmental group serving to to design the drone and advising on the undertaking.
Earlier than the undertaking launched in 2017, pineapple stems had been discarded after the once-in-a-year harvest interval, however farmers hope the drones undertaking will encourage extra innovation to seek out makes use of for the waste and enhance incomes.
“With the well being challenge, the economic system downside as a result of COVID-19, the society is determined and there’s no different to extend earnings,” mentioned pineapple farmer Irwan Ismail.
© Thomson Reuters 2020
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