from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Flying is a great mode of transportation. Technically, though, there are a few different kinds of flying. Gliding or soaring like a sparrow (African or European, it doesn't matter) is fine, but the capabilities of a helicopter are sometimes much more useful. Hovering and vertical take-offs are really neat tricks. Maybe not as neat as a Firefly "Crazy Ivan" -- but it's a bit unfair to compare fictional flying maneuvers to actual aerial feats. Anyway, here are a few cool robotic helicopters.
- Autonomous helicopters from the University of Pennsylvania can work together in teams to build simple structures. It would have been a bit creepier if the video demonstrated a honeycomb structure being built. [url]
- Artificial "samaras" are little flying helicopters -- modeled after the single-wing seeds that drop from maple trees. These robotic samaras can climb, hover and move in arbitrary flight paths -- and if there's a updraft, they can stay afloat while expending minimal energy. [url]
- Boeing's unmanned A160T Hummingbird can deliver cargo without endangering a helicopter pilot. And Skynet is just about to become self-aware.... [url]