A group of scientists and engineers working out of Rice University have collaborated with the Baylor College of Medicine and non-profit organization Technology For All to develop a high-tech autonomous drone that is designed to monitor and map volatile organic compounds in the air.
Specifically, this autonomous drone is capable of detecting the presence of gases produced from vehicular exhaust pipes, gas leaks and everyday products like glue. The drones are designed to work in groups, taking to the air and combining their laser spectroscopy sensors to create 3D models of aerial pollution.
What's great about these autonomous drones is that they're designed to be part of a proactive system that monitors the aerial environment for pollution and reports it before it becomes a major problem. Effectively a flying platform gas-detection, these drones could have a wide variety of applications in commercial and industrial settings.