Hydraulic Propulsion an Alternative to Drone Batteries

A new method from Purdue University could help with takeoff and landing for autonomous taxis and cargo carriers.

Drones require heavy batteries or lots of electrical components, which leaves little room for the actual payload. A Purdue University team came up with a method to use fluid power technology for autonomous vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) vehicles.

The fluid power propulsion system uses hydrostatic transmission, a lighter-weight and more reliable option, to distribute engine power throughout the rotors, providing thrust for the aircraft and allowing the rotors to each spin at different speeds.