Less concerned with humor than they are with safety, researchers at Aalborg University’s Drone Research Lab decided to test what happens when small hobby drones collide with animals, cars, glass, people, or other objects that may obstruct one’s flight path. To do so, the lab created a custom-built catapult to launch drones into foreign objects. Lighting and a high speed camera were setup for observations.
“The first attempts are interesting because they clearly show what could happened when a regular hobby drone hits a human being,” the Drone Research Lab’s director, Anders la Cour-Harbo, told Science Daily. “But it’s too early to conclude anything.”
According to researchers, the custom-built, aluminum catapult is nearly ten feet long and can accelerate a two pound drone (or an adorable toy airplane) up to almost 50 feet per second. The high speed camera is capable of capturing over 3,000 frames per second.
The first videos released by the lab shows the impact of various objects in slow motion as the lab experiments with lighting and camera speeds. In place of an actual human subject sits an uncooked pork roast. Since pigs’ internal structure is similar to ours, swine are valuable (and cheap) test crash dummies.
As the carbon propeller impacts the pork it seems to fracture and pierce right into the flesh. Though this video was just a test shot, the results may make you duck and hide from any low flying objects.
In recent months we’ve seen drones crash into the Empire State Building and the crowd at a Muse concert. No injuries were reported in these cases, but plenty of other crashes have resulted in bodily harm, which have raised safety concerns as drones become more regular fixtures in the sky.