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Experimental EagleRay drone both flies and swims

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EagleRay

North Carolina State University and Teledyne Scientific have created an experimental drone that can fly like a fixed-wing aircraft and dive into the sea like an underwater UAV. The drone is called EagleRay, and it is a cross domain autonomous vehicle (XAV). It was designed for research applications such as tracking, observing wildlife and underwater monitoring.  Other drones were created to operate in one specific field, and that’s because underwater wireless communication is a challenge. EagleRay’s ability to effortlessly go from aerial to underwater makes it the first drone of its kind. It is still being tested, but here is a 2016 video showing an early EagleRay prototype in action:

EagleRay XAV specs

The current EagleRay XAV is equipped with a 59-inch wingspan, which can be drained before hitting the skies. The XAV weighs 12.6 pounds with its dual-use propeller, and it is powered by an electric motor that works in the air and in the water. The description in the YouTube video stated that the EagleRay could outperform other unmanned underwater vehicles by moving a payload at speeds greater than 30 mph.

EagleRay

Time-lapse photo shows the drone emerging from the water. Photo credit: NC State University.

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