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An early prototype of a wireless powered drone raises interest although its usability i not yet promised.

Quadcopter drones have a variety of uses, from filming to delivering small packages, but every drone is limited by its battery life. There are all kinds of potential solutions to this problem, from fuel cell-powered drones to charging “nests” on streetlights and church steeples. Wireless power, however, is a pretty unique idea and it could let a drone like this one fly forever.

According to, the drone was developed by Dr. Sam Aldhaher of the Imperial College London. The drone had its battery removed and was outfitted with a coil of copper foil tape. This acts as a receiver for the electromagnetic waves that are being put out by the plate that the drone is flying over. It’s not that different from the wireless tech some phones use to charge, except the drone is flying.

It’s a cool little trick but not entirely practical. Wireless power only works reliably over very small distances. So unless a drone like this would be traveling from point A to point B at a height of an inch or so over a strip of power-transmitting material, this trick wouldn’t be much more useful than a traditional battery-powered flier. A drone that hovers forever in one place would make a good (if loud) desk ornament, though.