3D Robotics

From CBS news

Oklahoma State University researchers are designing and building sleek, Kevlar-reinforced unmanned aircraft — or drones — to fly directly into the nation's worst storms and send back real-time data to first responders and forecasters.

"We have all the elements in place that make this the right place for this study to occur," said Stephen McKeever, Oklahoma's secretary of science and technology. "We have the world's best natural laboratory."

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones


  • FPV plane sucked into thunderstorm. ArduPilot brings her home.

  • The University of Colorado has been flying the Tempest UAV for several years. They've even flown into storms and back out again!


    (even more amazing, CU actually has COA's from the FAA so they can fly legally)

  • That's a very cool looking airframe.

  • That's what you call a sacrificial drone.
  • It's definitely become a money maker to show your SUV being battered by  on the goo tube.  Easy to forget people still die out there, but it is Adsense which pays for the autonomous cars, the blimps, the flying windmills & all the other nice things Goog does for us. 

  • Interestingly, this news just broke today. Tim was someone with a passion for getting sensors into the hearts of tornadoes. A great researcher has been lost.

  • Beautiful airframe! Although it probably will be broken-up in storm. If electronics still functioning - you'll get your data but not the drone in one piece.

    Drone has to be made as one piece flying wing as strong as possible. It will not be flyable in the storm due to unpredictable aerodynamics, but at least it will be hard to break.

  • I had the pleasure of speaking with Reed Timmer, a well known storm chaser, about this subject. In an episode of the Discovery Channel show "Storm Chasers" they used an RC aircraft in an attempt to get data from near the tornado, as well as deploy airborne sensors into the in-flow of the storm. This piqued my interest, and I was able, through social media, to befriend Reed, and later discuss that particular episode with him. He said, following the episode, he was told (by, implied, the FAA) to cease and desist such operations. He did suggest a university may be able to carry on such research with fewer issues. I am glad to see the idea has not become a dead-end.

  • Moderator

    I think I would fire tennis balls with sensors in them and send them off on a suicide mission to ride the storm.

  • The world has standardized on the quad & the twin boom pusher.  Here, they put in a 10kW EDF in an extra covering.  It might justify a new airframe, if they think higher speed than normal RC planes would make it more weather resistant & if the extra covering resists hail. 

This reply was deleted.