Robotics experts at Middlesex University have developed the UK’s first lightweight outdoor flying video camera – so small it can fit in a soldier’s backpack.
One of the main advantages of the new UAV – nicknames the ‘SQ-4’ – is that it costs so much less to manufacture than other UAVs currently in use in Afghanistan. This means that it could be used on a much wider basis.
SQ-4 can fly up to 400 ft high, and can hover or even land in high-up places as it zooms in on targets in the field. Its cameras also have a night-vision for surveillance at night time.
The team who created SQ-4 is led by Middlesex robotics expert Dr Stephen Prior and is made up of students Mehmet Ali Erbil, Mantas Brazinskas and Witek Mielniczek. They created the SQ-4 in partnership with Cardiff firm BCB International, which makes survival and protective equipment.
25-year old Middlesex University PhD student Mehmet Ali Erbil said: “This could make soldiers even more effective at scanning areas for bombs, traps or suspicious activity as current systems are cumbersome and costly so their use is more limited. SQ-4 could give British troops the competitive edge and reduce their vulnerability in unfamiliar terrains.”
The team will be displaying the SQ-4 at the DSEi exhibition from 13-16 September. To see the SQ-4 in action, click here to see a video.