Innovation That Matters

In social situations, a tethered drone provides a high-impact, low cost method | Photo source KAUST/Xavier Pita

Tethered drones create temporary wi-fi hotspots for events

Computing & Tech

The cable that holds the drone in place provides connectivity as well as power

Spotted: A team of scientists and engineers from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia present the case for using tethered drones to provide high volumes of temporary internet connectivity. Designed as a solution to the density of internet use at a variety of social events such as concerts and sports games, tethered drones are kept fully powered through the cable that holds them in place.

Untethered drones, on the other hand, are limited by their battery life and the availability of charging stations, making them more difficult to use in complicated situations, particularly those with rapidly changing requirements. Disaster relief could well be another use for the tethered drone method of improved communication.

The challenges of installing a drone in one position come in the form of length of tether cable and location. When needed, the tether and drone are moveable from position to position for emergency access and care. In social situations, a tethered drone provides a high-impact, low cost method for improving internet service for thousands of people attending an event in the area.

Drones are being trialled in a number of interesting ways, with Springwise spotting a drone-based system clearing plastic waste from the ocean floor, and an autonomous drone passenger plane.

Written by: Keely Khoury

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