By Andrew Liszewski
Sitting next to a 9-volt battery you really get an idea of just how small the Picoflyer is with its 60mm diameter rotors. But besides being amazingly tiny and fully flyable, the Picoflyer also has some innovative design behind it.
Helicopters are inherently unstable by design, which makes them notoriously difficult to fly but the Picoflyer uses a new (and patented) approach to keeping the craft stable during flight. The rotors are arranged in an innovative way so that any small horizontal movement causes them to tilt up, creating an opposite horizontal force stopping the motion immediately. The downside though is that the rotors can’t be pitched forward like on a conventional helicopter, reducing its horizontal speed. Instead the Picoflyer uses a small tail propeller to tilt the entire craft forward, which in turn causes the entire craft to fly forward.
Sadly the Picoflyer was built only as a tech-demo and is not available nor intended for sale at any point.