What happens when a drone plunges into our heads?

An 18-month study investigated the mechanism and what happens if a drone hits our head and face.

In the near future, drones may appear more in the sky to help people deliver goods or take photos and videos from the air. However, drones can also pose a danger to humans if they run out of battery or malfunction in the middle. So what can happen when a drone collides with a human?

It is also a question that the Alliance for System Security of UAS (USA) through Research Excellence Research Program (ASSURE) wants to find the answer. After more than 18 months, the team was discovered by scientists from the University of Alabama (Hunstville, USA), Mississippi State University, National Aeronautical Research Institute at Mississippi State University and several other organizations. answer.

According to Popular Mechanics , in the ASSURE Phase II Ground Collision study, scientists looked at potential injuries that could result from collisions between small drone systems with humans. Researchers not only want to see what could cause injuries but also develop safety measures and make recommendations to the US government.

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Experiment stabbing drones into the human head from many directions

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Scientists use a doll with a human head that is recreated exactly like a human

In parallel with making recommendations to the US government, the team also wants to create global safety standards.

It may sound intimidating, but David Arterburn, a member of the research team, found that drones are mostly made of plastic that is flexible, resilient and flexible. Contrary to most people's beliefs, drones tend to absorb a significant impact force upon impact.

"There is a common misconception that every drone is a rock, so when it hits you, it will hurt you as if the stone was thrown at you," David Arterburn said .

The team conducted 512 crash tests and simulations using 16 common consumer drones such as the DJI Phantom and Mavic Pro and drones that carry objects with different loads such as batteries, wood blocks and magnetic weights. 0.3kg to 5.99kg. The scientists then dived into a human head model to test the impact of the drone on collision with the head.

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Test of stabbing drones from angled direction

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Drone stabbed across the face

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Drone stabbed down from above

The most common injuries are cuts, cuts, and bruises on the face. Arterburn said that the risk of face damage from drones is not high, but if it happens, it is very dangerous. When the drone hits the face at high speed, if unfortunately the rotor mesh hits the eye, it can cause blindness and corneal damage.

Therefore, the team wants to recommend that the US government must make provisions on the installation of additional rotor guards on drones to minimize eye damage.

ASSURE CEO Stephen P. Luxion said that the team tested the collision drones at different angles and directions to make sure the test assessed all the dangers of the drone and was the most unique. bar.

However, he said that researchers still could not calculate all the variables when collision. Because only a small change in the direction of the drone's impact at impact can lead to different injuries. Therefore, how to keep the drone balanced even when falling is also a headache problem for drone manufacturers.

Luxion said, the injury caused by the drone collision does not leave too bad consequences if the impact force is not strong enough, especially in testing. In general, for a drone to be fatal to a person, it needs to be large enough and the force exerted on the body strong enough and in fact there have not been so many drones in the sky so far. Therefore the risk of drone death is still a rare case.

You may think that the worst case scenario is that you will be hit by a rotor, but the researchers found that the drone tends to swing the rotor out before it hits. The most dangerous is when the position between the two blades collides with the human body because it can cause the highest damage. Drones tend to tumble out of control and if hit by an upside-down drone, the injury could be more serious than imagined.

Therefore, how to guide a drone during a fall or learn to avoid it, protect yourself when it collides, and obey the rules that control the safety of the drone will be the best way to protect. You and others from the danger from the air.