Researchers over at Universiti Putra Malaysian (UPM) are taking plastic reduction one step further by creating a drone made from pineapple leaves. The entire drone, of course, won’t be made from pineapple leaves, but rather its main body or frame. The frame is made using natural fibers.
Prof Dr Mohamed Thariq bin Hameed Sultan / Image: Astro Awani
According to Prof Dr Mohamed Thariq bin Hameed Sultan, one of the advantages of using natural materials is that they have a higher strength ratio based on weight when compared to using synthetic materials like plastic. Natural materials will also be cheaper and are more readily available, and are also biodegradable which means that they can be easily disposed of when no longer in use or when it is spoiled.
The leaves are harvested from after cultivation of the pineapples, where instead of being burnt, which is usually the standard procedure, they can be reused to help make these drones. As to whether or not it will be more durable compared to plastic drones is unclear, but it is an interesting idea nonetheless.
Mohamed Thariq explained that the eco-friendly drone is part of a project by UPM that is aiming to develop an ecosystem of machines created by bio-composite materials from pineapple leaves. Rather than disposing or burning these leaves after cultivation, the researcher said that they can be gathered in large quantities to produce parts.