Hover Bike Like Star Wars Landspeeder - With Video!
Slick new "hover-bike" from Aerofex corrects nagging problems with this design, which was abandoned in the 1960's. Now the video.
(Hover bike video)
"Think of it as lowering the threshold of flight, down to the domain of ATV's (all-terrain vehicles)," said Mark De Roche, an aerospace engineer and founder of Aerofex.
Such intuitive controls could allow physicians to fly future versions of the vehicle to visit rural patients in places without roads, or enable border patrol officers to go about their duties without pilot training. All of it happens mechanically without the need for electronics, let alone complicated artificial intelligence or flight software.
"It essentially captures the translations between the two in three axis (pitch, roll and yaw), and activates the aerodynamic controls required to counter the movement — which lines the vehicle back up with the pilot," De Roche told InnovationNewsDaily. "Since [the pilot's] balancing movements are instinctive and constant, it plays out quite effortlessly to him."
Star Wars fans might well be thinking of the landspeeder from the original book (and film):
(Model landspeeder from Star Wars movie parked in suburbia)
For a moment Luke hesitated at leaving the machine behind -- but, he argued to himself, it's vital components were obviously shot. So he jumped into the landspeeder, causing the recently repaired repulsion floater to list alarmingly to one side until he was able to equalize weight distribution by sliding behind the controls.
Fans of Larry Niven are probably also thinking about his flycycle from his 1970 classic Ringworld.
Via Yahoo; thanks to Dewtey for writing in with the tip.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/28/2012)