Malaysian engineers make drones out of pineapples

Jan 6th

Pineapple may not belong on pizza, but it does apparently belong in the sky.

Researchers in Malaysia have found a way to make drones out of pineapple leaves, turning the fibers into a bio-composite material that can then be molded into a frame.

"We are transforming the leaf of the pineapple into a fiber that can be used for aerospace application, basically inventing a drone," said Professor Mohamed Thariq Hameed Sultan of Malaysia's Putra University.

Surprisingly, the material actually has a better strength-to-weight ratio than synthetic plastics and other materials. It's also cheaper, lighter, and easier to recycle. If a drone were to be lost, the frame would simply compost within a matter of weeks.

Credit: Reuters

The prototypes have been able to fly to a kilometer high (3,280 ft) and stay airborne for 20 minutes.

Besides being cool and better for the environment, the development of such a material would create a source of secondary income for local pineapple farmers, who throw away endless tons of leaves each year.

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