Some of you may know the great exhilaration and joy that comes with flying a drone, which have been systematically replacing kites in parks around the world. But these unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) do more than just buzz around and take pretty videos from up in the air. In fact, there are a number of 3D printed drones that have been designed to assist with medical emergencies, as well as pizza and even 7-Eleven Slurpee deliveries. One of the most popular consumer drones is the DJI Phantom 4, the most intelligent and sleek drone from DJI’s product line. Now, their high quality drone been enhanced further with a new 3D printed exoskeleton attachment.
Looking to make the most out of their drone model, Chinese manufacturer DJI has used the rugged and lightweight EXO 1 exoskeleton to transform their UAV into a search and rescue tool. The attachment was developed through the Search and Rescue 3D Printing Design Contest, a collaborative contest launched by DJI and the 3D printing service bureau Shapeways to prove the versatility of the Phantom 4. The design collective behind the EXO 1, Frost Design, ended up winning first place in the competition, which came with a prize of $1,000 and a DJI Phantom 4.
The EXO 1 is extremely simple to assemble, equipped with a cable mounting system that eliminates the need for additional tools. There are a number of mounting points that can be used to attach GoPro cameras, lights, or any other properly fitting attachments. For instance, bicycle light mounts can be utilized to improve the visibility of the camera, making it more efficient for search and rescue missions.
According to Frost Design, the mounting points work extremely well with Knog Qudos lights due to their small size and powerful lighting, which is especially useful when coupled with GoPro mounting ports. Additionally, the 3D printed exoskeleton can be equipped with a simple payload system, and by using carabiners and neodinyum magnetic components, can deliver this payload without having to land on the ground. The Phantom 4 drone has been utilized by the search and rescue organization Down East Emergency Medicine Institute (D.E.E.M.I.). Now, the organization is able to cover thousands of acres in one camera shot, which the volunteers are able to dive into right away on a computer.
The 3D printed exoskeleton can be purchased through Shapeways for $113, while the Phantom 4 currently costs $1,199 through DJI’s website. DJI’s latest drone is perfect for exploring your surroundings, but as the EXO 1 has shown, the Phantom 4 can be used for critical life-saving missions as well. Ultimately, the 3D printed exoskeleton proves how versatile and adaptable this drone really is, proving that drone technology will continue to impact society in a number of ways. Discuss this in the EXO 1 forum at 3DPB.com.