If a drone's rotors stop working meters above the ground, the only option for pilots is usually to watch and pray. But a new parachute built specifically for drones might save quadcopters from harm. The SafeAir Pyrotechnic Parachute Recovery Solution (we'll just call it the SafeAir) clips on to the top of the drone and automatically deploys when free fall is detected by a built-in chip. Creator ParaZero offers the reusable SafeAir in a range of sizes — from a compact unit for drones weighing 2 kilograms, to a larger chute for "manned drones" (it was built specifically for the Martin Jetpack).
The company unveiled the product back in March, but we recently spotted a video of their test 'chute deployments on YouTube (below). Users of the SafeAir can customize the speed of the drop rate (between three to six meters per second), and ParaZero says it's effective even at low altitudes. If you're using your drone in an urban area, the SafeAir could be an especially useful way to minimize risk to onlookers. Still, three meters per second isn't exactly slow, and we wonder if every drone that has to use the SafeAir comes away unscathed. There are no prices on ParaZero's website, either, so this could be a costly add-on. But as long as it's cheaper than the drone itself.