VTOL drone can evacuate wounded soldiers and disaster victims, deliver cargo

Evacuation by drone could soon appear on the readiness checklists of rescue and first responder groups worldwide. Tactical Robotics’ Cormorant ratchets up the potential for drone deployment for a wide range of military, industrial, and civilian applications.

The unmanned Cormorant is a compact, single-engine Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft. Internal lift rotors give the drone the ability to land and take off almost anywhere it can find a large SUV-sized horizontal surface.

Tactical Robotics Cormorant VTOL Drone
Unlike helicopters and many smaller drones with exposed rotors, the Cormorant’s six-foot rotors turn inside circular housings underneath the aircraft within the superstructure’s front and rear — hence the term “internal lift rotors.”

The lift rotors don’t swivel for horizontal travel. Instead, two smaller encased rotors are mounted vertically on either side of the drone’s tail. A single turbocharged engine powers all four rotors.

The Cormorant’s rotor arrangement minimizes the craft’s footprint. The smaller size and encased rotors allow it access to obstructed areas with wires, buildings, forests, jungles, and even mountainsides, where helicopters could never attempt to touch down.

Tactical Robotics Cormorant VTOL Drone

In addition to its unique rotor placement, the Cormorant also stands out for payload capacity. Two main cabin compartments can each hold a bit more than 27 cubic feet of cargo (think medium-sized refrigerator), and an optional belly-mounted cargo hold accommodates an additional 35 cubic feet (a large refrigerator). Maximum combined cargo weight is approximately 970 pounds.

In battlefield evacuation and accident or disaster rescue, the VTOL drone has space for two casualties inside the cabin with ample room below in the belly cargo hold — if equipped — for additional supplies or materials.

According to the manufacturer, the Cormorant can transport prodigious quantities of food, water, and other needed supplies to remote or otherwise unreachable locations. With continuous round trips in a 50-mile radius, the drone could deliver more than six and a half tons of supplies (13,000-plus pounds) — enough for 3,000 people — in 24 hours.

Tactical Robotics Cormorant VTOL Drone

Tactical Robotics lists unmanned inspection and monitoring flights for electrical grids, bridges, agricultural areas, and offshore oil platforms among diverse civilian applications. With optional remote-controlled mechanical arms, the Cormorant also could be used for spraying, retrieval, and other tasks.

The drone may be unique in its ability to provide “eye in the sky” photographic surveillance, and can transport cargo and equipment and perform evacuation duties.

Tactical Robotics has demonstrated the Cormorant operating via a preprogrammed course and with a human operator from a remote site.

Another useful item on the options list is a rocket-deployed parachute substantial enough to lower the drone and a full payload to safety if the engine or VTOL lift rotors fail.

Cars

Jaguar Land Rover is developing this amazing 3D head-up display

Jaguar Land Rover is developing an experimental 3D head-up display that can provide safety information to drivers, and let passengers watch 3D movies. The company claims this display could also improve driver reaction times.
Deals

Best Labor Day sales: Amazon, Walmart, and Home Depot drop early deals

Labor Day 2019 lands on Monday, September 2 this year. We've gathered all of the information you need to prepare yourself for the many sales to come, from REI to Walmart and everything in between.
Home Theater

The best 4K TVs under $500

These days, you can land a pretty epic 4K TV for under $500. Still, sorting through the litany of options online can be both time-consuming and overwhelming. Check out our list of the best 4K TVs under $500.
Home Theater

The best TVs under $1,000

Check out our picks for the best TVs under $1,000 to enjoy top-shelf features like 4K Ultra HD, High Dynamic Range, and gorgeous image processing. Park yourself here to find the absolute best values in TV land.
Emerging Tech

The black hole at the center of our galaxy is flaring and no one knows why

At the heart of our galaxy lies a supermassive black hole, Sagittarius A*. Normally this giant monster is relatively docile, but recently it's been a hotbed of unexpected activity, rapidly glowing 75 times brighter than normal.
Emerging Tech

SpaceIL’s crashed lander may have sent thousands of tardigrades to the moon

When the SpaceIL craft Beresheet crashed into the moon earlier this year, it left more than just an impact mark. Thousands of micro-animals called tardigrades were along for the ride and may have survived the crash.
Emerging Tech

Wreckage, reefs, and robots: The high-tech quest to find Amelia Earhart’s plane

Over 80 years ago, American aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart disappeared while trying to fly around the world. Now an autonomous water-based robot could help find some answers. Here's how.
Emerging Tech

NASA’s satellite projects will study the sun using solar sailing

Small satellites can be used for all sorts of purposes, and NASA has been searching for ideas to push ahead the capabilities of the hardware. The agency has announced two new projects to demonstrate the potential of small satellites.
Emerging Tech

Hubble captures a beautiful cosmic jellyfish made of glowing gas

A new image from Hubble might look like a deep-space jellyfish, but it's not a sign of extraterrestrial life - in fact, it's a planetary nebula called NGC 2022, located in the constellation of Orion (The Hunter).
Emerging Tech

Parker Solar Probe makes a second orbit of the sun, captures solar wind on video

The Parker Solar Probe, launched last year, has completed its second orbit around the sun. To celebrate, the team responsible for the probe has released a video showing solar winds in action.
Cars

Starman on Tesla Roadster makes first orbit around sun, braces for loneliness

Starman and his Tesla Roadster, sent by SpaceX to outer space last year, have completed their first orbit around the sun. The people on Earth may be able to catch a glimpse of the cherry-red electric vehicle on November 2020.
Emerging Tech

Bernie Sanders calls for a ban on police use of facial recognition

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders is calling for a complete ban on the use of facial recognition by law enforcement as part of the new criminal justice reform plan he introduced this weekend.
Emerging Tech

On the fence about buying solar panels? Tesla now offers them for rent

With solar rental Tesla says “customers get the best from solar power — clean, cheap energy to power homes and vehicles — without upfront costs or decades-long agreements. In fact, customers can get solar power with one click, instead…
Emerging Tech

Autonomous robot deliveries are coming to 100 university campuses in the U.S.

Autonomous robot company Starship Technologies has announced that it will expand its food delivery services to 100 university campuses around the United States over the next 24 months.