Clean Technica recently examined whether the United Arab Emirates, and especially Dubai could become a world leader in clean mobility. It lists factors such as one of the heaviest concentrations of concentration of EV charging facilities in the world, and the sizable discounts the state gives on EV ownership. The state’s relationship with electric car suppliers and readiness to test sky taxis from eHang and Volocopter add to the mix. Dubai has its homegrown flight vehicles that will add to the aerial circus in its desert skies. DGWorld, a major source of robotics in the country, has two such craft on the horizon.
DG World’s Contribution
The smaller of the two, the “flagship drone of DGWorld,” the UAD M20 has a 19.5 kilogram (43 pounds) maximum weight borne aloft on 2.15 meter (seven foot) wings. At least two of its six motors can tilt to allow vertical takeoffs and landings and its fixed wings enable high-speed forward flight. Able to carry a five kilogram (11 pound) payload, the machine offers flexibility in mission.
What caught your editor’s eye was the possible use for washing windows, a useful application for all the 2,000-foot plus skyscrapers in the urban area. Fully autonomous flight and a “powerful” autopilot “allow “personalized missions.” A return-home function and parachute enable missions without “fear of damages or injuries,” according to DG World.
A People Carrier
DGWorld’s largest Drone, the UAD M470, is equipped to deliver people and bulky items to various destinations. Its six rotatable motors, producing almost 400 kW (536 horsepower), enable VTOL operation or up to 215 kilometer-per-hour (134 mph) forward flight. Like its smaller cousin, the M470 has an array of fail-safe devices and a full-aircraft parachute to reduce or eliminate harm to the craft, its cargo, or most importantly, its passengers.
DGWorld promotes its crafts’ ability to communicate with other aircraft automatically, “preventing its presence in the airspace from interfering with any other aircraft unnecessarily.” One can only wonder under what circumstances necessary interference would take place.
Like its smaller cousin, it can leap over tall buildings, and its size enables “a huge leap in the fire-fighting field in terms of ease, safety and accessibility as a first responder for reacting to the fire sources in high-rise buildings, towers, metro stations, etc…” Recent fires in Dubai’s high rise dwellings show the necessity for equipment that can reach far beyond conventional hook-and-ladder type units.
DGWorld has an impressive lineup of ground and aerial robotics and government backing that might make them a firm competitor for the German and Japanese drones and sky taxis testing Duaian skies. Similar in configuration and operation to the Joby S2 or S4, the M20 and M470 will be interesting to see in actuality.