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Can A Drone Kill You – MythBusters Tested It Out!




mythbusters drone test

Mythbusters duo Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage explore basic questions about myths and urban legends and put them to the test them. On March 22, the Mythbusters duo went after the myth of deadly drones. The thought is as drones will be in our futures delivering packages, the myth dictates that a gust of wind will fly the drones into an unsuspecting victim and decapitate them.

Test One: Mythbusting Deadly Drones With A Small Phantom-Like Quad

To prove whether or not this myth is true, co-host Jamie Hyneman pilots the drone into a mannequin with a neck full of blue blood to see what will happen.  The first test has the drone flying neck high into the mannequin with no real results. Slowing down the footage, one can see that the blades actually bend instead of causing any cuts on the drone.  As co-host of MythBusters Adam Savage would tell you, “Clearly the props are designed to do that.”  Score one for the manufacturer. That is when the ante is raised.

As co-host of MythBusters Adam Savage would tell you, “Clearly the props are designed to do that.” Score one for the manufacturer. That is when the ante is raised.

mythbusters drone

Test Two: Mythbusting Deadly Drones With a Larger Hex

Test two shows Jamie Hyneman piloting a hexacopter. Hexacopters can create more of an impression as you are dealing with six motors instead of four. The drone itself is heavier and can have more power. Hyneman takes aim at its victim, the blue-blooded “Vulcan” mannequin to see what it can do. Surprisingly enough, the hex reacts exactly the same as the quadcopter. No penetration and thankfully no blue blood is spilled. The props bend when focusing on their target.

mythbusters drone 2

Test Three: Customizing The Myth Of Deadly Drones With a Heavy, Expensive Drone

Savage notes that multi rotors sound like “a hive of angry bees.” He also admits to being afraid of being hit by these rotors, but rationalizes that this fear may be without merit. Then being the myth busters that they are, they break out the heavy duty custom built camera drone. This drone has 8 rotors, weighs 16 pounds and the props are not made of plastic but material that is much sturdier, carbon fiber. Clearly, they have a death wish for the mannequin.

mythbusters drone 3

They use a different, experienced pilot for this test. Jamie Hyneman believes that something bad is going to happen on this one. Mission accomplished. The blade cuts a vein in the neck of the mannequin. Blue blood spills everywhere although interestingly enough, the custom drone ultimately behaves like the other two. Adam Savage notes that these tests prove two things:

  • Smaller multi rotors are pretty safe and designed to be that way.
  • The bigger the multirotor, the more dangerous they can be.

Of course, there is more to it than that.  The drones are flown on these tests fly restrained towards their target. It also does not take into account when drones lose power and land on top of a person. It is comforting to see that the props bend. Ultimately, the duo comes to the right conclusion and states that the myth of dangerous drones is plausible.

You might also want to read more about MythBusters, drones, and propellers that cut everything:


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