Say hello to Megakopter, a University of Oslo-designed multicopter drone that recently set a new weightlifting record. Built by students at the university’s Department of Informatics, the remote-controlled flying machine created a new Guinness World Record for the greatest weight (around 61 kg) ever lifted by a drone. Featuring eight individual hexacopters held together in an incredibly innovative design, it is driven by 13 propellers and as many as 48 motors.
Developed over the course of 18 months, the Megakopter’s sturdy frame was constructed using aluminium and plywood. During the trials, the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which was piloted by Dan Richard Isdahl Eng and Henning Pedersen, hoisted a payload of nearly 61 kg (approx. 134 pounds) to a height of over 1 m, keeping it in the air for a total of 37 seconds. The feat complies with the the rules of Guinness World Records, according to which the weight needs to be held off the ground for a minimum period of 30 seconds.
Weighing about 76.6 kg, the Megakopter is technically capable of lifting extra weight of up to 73 kg (or 161 pounds). During the initial testing, a part of the circuitry fitted onto the drone short-circuited, causing the contraption to stop working. To break the record, however, the team only needed to raise a payload of 60 kg. Subsequently, the students reduced the weight by 12 kg, bringing it down to approximately 61 kg. Speaking about the creation, Pedersen said:
We used 24 Gens Ace LiPo batteries with six cells (22.2 volts) and 5000 mAh capacity. Pretty common RC batteries. It only flies for three to six minutes but we could double the number of batteries if we wanted, adding about 20 kg to the 76kg weight of the vehicle.
The Megakopter, according to the team, is a step towards personal air vehicles (PAV) that could carry a single person. To know more about the project, click here.