CINCINNATI/CLEVELAND – A partnership in research and technology is taking place between two of the nation’s leaders in the unmanned aircraft systems industry.
The University of Cincinnati recently signed a research partnership agreement with Dronewerx, LLC., a Cleveland, Ohio company that focuses on design and manufacture of high-quality unmanned aircraft frames and systems for the public safety and infrastructure inspection markets.
The project focuses on developing a highly-maneuverable, long-endurance, vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft under fifty-five pounds. The University of Cincinnati will develop unique, custom firmware to allow the aircraft to use variable-pitch propellers with a single-drive power source. The aircraft will also use Dronewerx’ custom ducted Prop-Guard ™ technology that, when combined with UC’s advanced sense-and-avoid system, will allow the aircraft to operate for long periods even in the most challenging of environments.
“This partnership really exemplifies how targeted corporate-sponsored research can advance not only private sector needs, but also the University’s mission of research, education and outreach simultaneously,” said Doctor Manish Kumar, Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at the University of Cincinnati.
“Some of the biggest challenges in the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) industry is flight duration and crash avoidance. This project addresses key aspects of both of those challenges head on,” said Matt Mishak, managing member of Dronewerx, LLC. The aircraft will be equipped with an advanced parachute recovery system and have the ability to fly for over an hour with a twenty-pound payload. “Payload capacity is the next important iteration in drone technology. This is going to be a game-changer for sure,” Mishak said.