Researchers at MIT are working towards developing miniature processing chips for drones that would require a lot less power than they require now. Thus, drones will not need to pack in bulky batteries. With such a chip the size and weight of drones can be decreased considerably.
MIT researchers Sertac Karaman and Vivienne Sze are working in the direction in hopes to conclude to an end where powerful drones with several capabilities can fit right into our pockets. Karaman and Sze are looking forward to getting rid of bulky batteries in drones and reduce their weight by incorporating chip that reduces power requirements of all the components of the drone.
Karaman elaborated, "Imagine buying a bottle cap-sized drone that can integrate with your phone, and you can take it out and fit it in your palm. If you lift your hand up a little, it would sense that, and start to fly around and film you. Then you open your hand again and it would land on your palm, and you could upload that video to your phone and share it with others."
The MIT research is funded in parts by the National Science Foundation and the US Air Force. The goal of the research is to come up with the smallest intelligent drone that can fly on its own.
The research is, in fact, progressing at a swift rate and researchers have already come up with a prototype that consumes less than 2 watts of power compared to 10-30 watts of power utilized by standard quad-copters. The prototype can also process images at the rate of 20 frames per second.