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A Modular, Deployable Flying Drone Blanket
Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA) and Flyfire have developed a 'Flying Drone Blanket' that easily fits inside a suitcase and allows drone fleets to take off simultaneously.
Modular and lending a whole new perspective for the 'Internet of Flying Objects', the blanket could scale up to a formation of 10,000 units, resulting in the largest drone show ever, making it a must-have for light shows, environmental sensing, and aerial 3D scanning.
According to CRA, the new system offers ease of deployment, all starting with a single suitcase. Inside, users can find the 'flying blanket' – a semi-rigid structure that both mechanically and electrically connects drones together. Each blanket could hold up to 16 drones and doubles as their charging pad, ensuring that the entire system is quickly deployable. To take off, each quadcopter makes a 45-degree handle turn and spins out of the blanket. With the inverse movement, the drones lock back into the mesh and immediately begin to recharge.
According Carlo Ratti, founder of CRA and director of MIT Senseable City Lab, the blankets can be linked together to create ever-wider launching areas – large enough to stage fleets of unprecedented size." In the last few years, individual drones have become a common presence in everyday life. Working with Flyfire, we set out to explore the next challenge – how do we make drone swarms more attainable?" contends Ratti.

"With this project, we imagine a near future where drone swarms can be used for multiple purposes – from light shows to mapping buildings with 3D scanning to sensing air and water quality – in a scenario that we might describe as an 'Internet of Flying Objects.'"
According to Flyfire CTO Nikita Rodichenko, each drone has a sleek modular design that supports a multiplicity of functions. Even a single device is clearly visible from long distances thanks to ultra-bright LEDs.

Moreover, smart batteries paired with an advanced Drone Management Controller (DMC) allow users to experience hassle-free operations.