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Tag Archives: flying

Are Bionic Birds The New Drones?


You’re looking at a remote controlled flying device that kind of looks like a bird, and flies like one too. You control it with your smartphone using Bluetooth 4.0, which gives you a range of about 100 yards. It’s completely not at all like a drone, so don’t expect stable flight, let alone recording any sort of video. It does, however, look like a lot of fun. More importantly is that despite having a small 8 minute flight time, a portable egg-shaped charging pack allows you to top it back up in only 12 minutes, and you can do that up to 10 times over before the charging pack itself needs juice. This is great because you can go off-grid with the Bionic Bird and get over one hour of flight time out of it.

You should know that when in flight it really does act like a bird and as such it may attract some natural bird predators. Considering it’s a $149 toy, you’re going to want to keep an eye out for that, lest you see you purchase disappear in the claws of a confused hawk, or whatever.


[ Product page ] VIA [ LaughingSquid ]

“I Want A Flying Electric Bicycle…” Said No One Ever


And yet here we are, looking at an unwieldy creation from a trio of Czech companies. Featuring two grotesquely huge propellers, the 209lbs remote controlled bike was indeed airborne in front of a group of reporters for all of five minutes. A styrofoam dummy had to be used instead of a human because the rig needs more powerful propellers if it hopes to be able to carry a human payload. We’re not sure what kinds of speeds it reached but seeing as the test was done indoors, we’re guessing not very fast. All of which brings the question of why? On the road this thing would be impractical; it’s too wide and long to be of any use. Not to mention that to land a 4+ wheeled flying vehicle is pretty hard as it is, so imagine on two wheels? No one in their right mind would ever agree to ride one so… Right? No, clearly this is more of a proof of concept than anything that could turn into an actual product. We’re glad the Czech are having fun.

[ AP Article ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

A $50 Autonomous Quad-Rotor That Obeys Your Voice Commands? Sign Us Up!

Let’s start by saying that the above product can’t be bought right now. It barely even exists. But if tech firm Always Innovating follows through on their plans for the MeCam UAV, they could have a winner on their hands. Their idea is to make an autonomous quad rotor bot with an ARM Cortex-A9 processor, and which features 1 GB of built-in RAM, an SD card slot, a camera, and is Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled. With these hardware specs, the bot would then be able to take videos of you as you move around, going higher or lower at your command. It would also be able to follow you autonomously, and record your shenanigans from above as if someone else was in control. Imagine the possibilities!

Of course, not much is know about which of these capabilities are functional at the moment, and which are just in the pipeline. But if all goes well, Always Innovating would have a workable product by next year. And that’s only if they find a commercial partner to license the design from them., since they don’t want to make it themselves.

That’s a lof of “if”, so we’re not holding our breaths.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

Tiny RC Quad-Copter Costs Less Than A Parrot Drone

Seems like quad-rotor copters are popping up everywhere: as taxidermied cats, as flying DeLoreans, as scary flying formations from hell and as an expensive attraction at the last two CESes. That last one refers to Parrot’s A.R. 2 Drone. Admittedly, it’s pretty high tech and fancy. But it’s also $300+. For $49 you can instead get the version from Brando which does pretty much the same things, only with less cowbell. The 6 AXES GYRO RC Somersault UFO even does flips, although it’s controlled through a traditional remote rather than with the iPhone (like the AR Drone). There’s no foam protection like there is on Parrot’s offering and there are quite a few buttons on that remote, which makes it not look quite as intuitive; a crash seems inevitable. But we don’t know. It does have gyro stabilization so hey, let’s not rush to judgement. Seeing as it’s $40, if you break it after 15 minutes, you won’t spend as much time crying about it.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Techcrunch Gadgets ]

FlyeBaby Hammock Finds A New Way To Fly With Baby

By David Ponce

As Andrew points out in his article, overhead compartments are not acceptable places in which to put a baby during flight. Nor is the cargo hold, surprisingly. Which means you’re left with the task of caring for this little human for what could be a long arduous flight. Any help is appreciated and the FlyeBaby Hammock is a start. Featuring a five-point harness system, it attached to the tray table in front of most airplane seats and to either side of you. You can then place baby right in front of you and interact with him during the cruise portion of the flight. This might help reduce the crying, which will make you a more popular parent. It follows FAA regulations and as long as it’s not used during taxiing, landing and takeoff, it shouldn’t be seen as a problem in any situation. There’s a line on the hammock that signifies the highest baby should be placed in case the person in front of you decides to recline; this will prevent baby’s head from being hit as this happens.

It’s $45 and available now. It’s actually been available for some time, but hey, first for us could mean first for some of you too!

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

The Web Is Full Of WTF: Taxidermied Cat Turned Into QuadCopter

By David Ponce

Walking down the downtown streets of any major metropole, you’ll run across your crazies. It’s fun. It’s what makes the place lively. Likewise on the web, you always bump into all manner of strange individuals. Like Dutch artist Bart Jansen. He had his cat Orville taxidermied after it was hit by a car. Only instead of letting the feline keep his dignity post-mortem, he turned him into the spectacle you see above. Outfitted with a rotor on each paw, the lifeless feline can take to the skies via remote control. Not very well though. If you watch the below video, you’ll notice he seems to have some trouble getting airborne. So apparently for his birthday, the abomination creation will be receiving more powerful engines and larger propellers. Stuffed cats are heavy, we imagine.

Oh and you remember how we said this was the work of an artist? Yeah, so the flying quad rotor cat is on display at the Kunstrai art festival in Amsterdam.

Hit the jump for a bunch of pictures.

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Start Building That Bunker: We’ve Reached The Quadrotor Nano-Bot Formation Flying Stage

By David Ponce

If you watch the above video, you’ll get a grasp of what you’re witnessing: the birth of the very things that will one day haunt our minds, and hunt our bodies. In our quest for progress, we have reached the stage where the University of Pennsylvania’s General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception lab have developed tiny flying robots capable of complex formations. Sure, right now the video is simply jaw dropping; seeing 20 of these hand sized bots fly around doing figure 8s, and passing through window frames is impressive. But that loud droning noise is a stark reminder that one day these very same bots (or even smaller ones) could be coming in through your windows, with intentions unknown. Never forget that if the technology exists, someone somewhere will find a way to put it to bad use.

Until then, we build our forts and we study the enemy. By watching the video.

Just watch it. It’s freaking cool.

VIA [ DVice ]