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Moscow Polytech
5 April 2018

Dmitriy Teslenko: УWe will not yet see a drone with pizza in the next ten yearsФ

“Cargo delivery by drones is cool, it is hype, but within the next ten years we will not see a drone with pizza’, - states Dmitriy Teslenko, Head of Laboratory for Self-driven Transport of the Moscow Poly, Resident of the technopark “Skolkovo”, Project Leader in development of “Agrobotics” – a drone for automation of chemicals’ spraying in agriculture. Right now the students and teachers work in the Laboratory on a few projects from real customers where SDFA are engaged. A spoiler: the cargo delivery project is not the most exciting of them.


“Agrobotics” at the project shift “Big Challenges” at the Education Center “Sirius”. Schoolchildren take part in development of the drone design

“Cargo delivery can be really useful in cities, when it is important to deliver a relatively small cargo within a minimum time span. But nobody will allow a copter to fly over a city – for security reasons, they are not 100% safe. Even big planes can drop, to say nothing of drones. A single drop of a drone in a city, even if nobody is hurt, will put a cross on drones. That is why even major players, like the Amazon, limit themselves to trial deliveries”, - considers Dmitriy. Nevertheless, at present a cargo drone fueled by hydrogen cells is being designed at the Lab, at an order of a customer company.

But, according to the developers, it is much more promising to use the SDFA for the aerial photography of industrial facilities and automated inventory at warehouses of the “A++” class.

Currently the Lab is finishing development of a drone for aerial photography of extended facilities on hydrogen fuel cells. The task of the copter is to fly for 100-200 km, get an image of the electric transmission grid and evaluate whether there are no chips, the insulation is intact, there is no danger of the line breakage due to hanging branches or to any damage to supports. If necessary, the drone should overhang and make an enlarged image. Many energy companies do need such a system.

Launch of a drone in “Sirius”

One more real case is the system of automated inventory with the use of drones. “There are a few teams that are working on this problem, and we among them. All of us are approximately at the beginning of the way, so who does it the first – he is well done”, - says Dmitriy Teslenko. The ceilings at the “A++” warehouses are not less than 13 meters high, on average around 15. At demands of customers or due to regulations by respective authorities from time to time the need arises to conduct an inventory. Until recently inventories were carried out manually – a warehouse employee would raise up on the lift truck and take down the necessary data, but now it is prohibited by safety rules. Copters will help people out. But there are certain difficulties in development of the project: the copter must be provided with additional light, protection of its screws, a powerful transmitter.


The copter at the finals of the profile “Self-driven transport systems” of the NTI Olympiad

Besides these projects the Lab develops educational master classes on drones for schoolchildren, samples of self-driven ground transportation with high off-road capability, scientific stands, “Agrobotics”. Most part of the Lab work is implemented by students – in the framework of the Moscow Poly project activity.


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