Example 2: Microdrones
Microdrones require tiny components, which is no problem as far as mechanical parts, electronics, cameras and sensors are concerned. Batteries are a different matter, however. Bound by chemical laws that rule out miniaturization, they last just a few minutes. Experts have therefore come up with the promising idea of using a laser beam to supply airborne microdrones with power as and when they need it.
It’s already working in the lab. Challenges include the need for visual contact and, above all, how to supply power to a broadly dispersed swarm.