Some drones return themselves safely to the ground when the battery is low, but others just start to die and sink quickly. On top of that, any number of catastrophes or troubles can surface that means your drone will be hurtling toward the potentially damaging earth at a fast rate. Such is a time for a parachute, in this case the SmartChutes, which is described as an “autonomous parachute recovery system” for quadcopters. When your drone falls, the parachute deploys.
The SmartChute parachute system is attached to the quadcopter, where it then uses both an accelerometer and gyroscope to determine if the drone is having troubles (you know, falling out of the sky). The parachute then deploys to lower the drone safely. The parachute is fairly big at 36-inches.
The canister with the technology and the parachute, in the final product at least, will measure in at 4.25-inches by 1.5-inches, and it will be constructed out of carbon fiber. The version currently shown is a prototype that is larger than the eventual product. The entire detection and deployment process takes 350 ms.
The creators of the parachute are seeking $25,000 USD in funding on Kickstarter, where they have thus far raised about $4,250 USD with 14 days remaining. Those interested need to pledge at least $130 USD to get the early bird model. Shipping to backers is estimated to start in October of this year.