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Italian Institute of Technology FSD-01 (prototype)

Italian Institute of Technology FSD-01 one passenger eVTOL  prototype wearable drone Fall Safety Device

 

FSD-01 (prototype)
Falls From Above Project
Italian Institute of Technology
Genoa, Liguria, Italy
www.iit.it

The Italian Institute of Technology was founded in 2005 in Genoa, Liguria, Italy and is a scientific research center for the advancement of science in Italy and worldwide, through projects and discoveries for applications and technology. A recent project called “Falls from Above” project is aimed at stopping deadly falls with a backpack electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) wearable drone for construction workers on high construction job sites such as skyscrapers, bridges, towers and modern wind turbines. The project is headed by Nikhil Deshpande, Jesus Ortiz, and Carlo Canali. (Image credit: Falls From Above Project)

FSD-01 (Fall Safety Device) passenger eVTOL backpack prototype drone
The FSD-01 (or Fall Safety Device 1) is a one passenger eVTOL backpack prototype drone that is activated when a person falls off a tall building or structure. The project team had a booth at Maker Faire Rome 2023 (MFR2023), Booth E12, that took place Oct. 20-22, 2023. The booth tag line was called, "Advanced Technologies For Working At Heights", even though the official project name is "Falls From Above". The team's project was initiated due to the statistic of 130 construction worker deaths per year in Italy occur, due to falls off of high construction job sites.

The project team see the success of the wearable drone backpack will be due to multiple factors. The backpack is expected to use artificial intelligence (AI) to determine if a fall has occurred to activate the drone. In addition, the project team foresees that all construction workers will go through virtual reality training to understand how the backpack drone works and how the train workers need to react correctly when a fall occurs. The training will also cover how to be safer on a job site to help them to not fall in the first place. Another important design feature of the backpack is make the backpack as light as possible. This wearable drone is also called a drone parachute.

The backpack has shoulder, waist and leg straps and is aimed at automatically activating when a fall occurs. The team predicted the drone launches within one or two seconds after a fall occurs. The target weight of the backpack is 5 kg (11 lb). When a fall occurs the maximum speed the drone will attain is 18 km/h (11 mph). When the backpack is activated, the back of the backpack jettisons and a four propeller multicopter drone pops out, the propellers start to rotate and a rope attached to the backpack will allow the person to fly to the ground safely. When landing, the person will land on their feet.

In addition, the project team envisions these backpack drones will also be used for construction workers to move around more easily on a construction job site using the wearable drone backpack. The team also intends for the drone backpack to complement and not replace existing safety protocols at high construction sites.

A fall occurs

A fall occurs

The backpack ejects the multicopter drone

The backpack ejects the multicopter drone

The multicopter drone expands, propellers start and holds the passengers with a rope and lands the person to safety

The multicopter drone expands, propellers start and holds the passengers with a rope and lands the person to safety

Specifications:

  • Aircraft type: Passenger backpack eVTOL fall safety device prototype drone
  • Piloting: Unknown, either passenger controlled or artificial intelligence (AI) controlled or both
  • Capacity: 1 person
  • Maximum speed: 18 km/h (11 mph)
  • Range: Unknown
  • Empty weight: 5 kg (11 lb)
  • Propellers: 4 propellers
  • Electric motors: 4 electric motors
  • Power source: Battery packs
  • Fuselage: A carbon fiber composite or plastic backpack and body safety straps
  • Landing gear: The person lands on their feet
  • Safety features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP) means having multiple propellers (or electric ducted fans) and multiple electric motors on an aircraft so if one or more propellers (or electric ducted fans) or some electric motors fail, the other working propellers (or electric ducted fans) and electric motors can safely land the aircraft. DEP provides safety through redundancy for its passengers or cargo. There are also redundancies of critical components in the sub-systems of the aircraft providing safety through redundancy for its passengers or cargo. Having multiple redundant systems on any aircraft decreases having any single point of failure.

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