HAX’s drone-propulsion manufacturer Vertiq (HAX11) recently received a grant from the Air Force to further develop the first underactuated propulsion system. IoT World Today’s article “Vertiq Receives Air Force Contract for Drone-Propulsion Development” covered the announcement, explaining that the grant comes through an Air Force AFWERX Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 1 contract.
While drone tech has undergone significant innovations in gimbals and frames, the field has been slow to update propulsion. Philadelphia-based Vertiq combines position sensing, motor calibration, and control software to cut down on motors, reduce weight, and increase the control of drones. Using pulsing firmware, Vertiq’s unique hinge propeller and motor modules allow the aircraft’s body to move horizontally while remaining flat. The propulsion system also simplifies an aircraft’s mechanical complexity by using a simple hinge and motor control software instead of a swashplate or slant disk.
With the new Phase I contract, Vertiq can partner with the Air Force and the entire federal government without competition from other sources. The grant also allows Vertiq to identify and collaborate with Air Force customers.
Once Vertiq secures more Air Force customers, the company will apply for a SBIR Phase II contract.