In Malaysia, researchers at Universiti Putra Malaysian are using natural fibers made of pineapple leaves for drone frames.
The pineapple leaf material has a higher strength to weight ratio compared to plastic and is cheaper than traditional drone frame materials. It also makes the drone partially biodegradable, in case it becomes lost to the user or ends up in a landfill at the end of its usable life.
Dr. Mohamed Thariq bin Hameed Sultan says pineapple leaves are otherwise burned after harvest. His team at UPM is working to create other machines made with pineapple leaf biocomposites in an effort to find a secondary market for the waste material.