Jump to content
Washington Football Team Logo
Extremeskins

gizmag: Japanese Defense Ministry shows world's first spherical flying machine


Destino

Recommended Posts



Star Wars fans (like me) will get a vague sense of deja vu when they see this flying sphere in action. Weighing in at about 12 ounces (350 g), the 16-inch (42 mm) diameter flying ball can launch and return vertically, maintain a stationary hover and zip along at up to 37 mph (60 km/h). Coupled with the ball camera we reported on earlier this month, it could become a valuable reconnaissance platform. Who knows? In time, more advanced autonomous versions might actually be used to train would-be Jedi knights. Once again, life imitates art.

Announced last summer by the Technical Research and Development Institute at Japan's Ministry of Defense (JMD) and recently unveiled at Digital Content Expo 2011, the world's first spherical air vehicle will likely be deployed in search and rescue operations deemed unsuitable for traditional aircraft. As for other possible uses, the sky just may be the limit.

"Because the exterior is round, this machine can land in all kinds of attitudes, and move along the ground. It can also keep in contact with a wall while flying. Because it's round, it can just roll along the ground, but to move it in the desired direction, we've brought the control surfaces, which are at the rear in an ordinary airplane, to the front," said a JMD spokesperson.

For something that looks so ungainly, the rig exhibits surprising stability. Thanks to three onboard gyro sensors, the device effectively maintains its orientation and altitude, even after collisions. Numerous control surfaces also assist with attitude control. The current prototype, which cost about US$1,400 in parts, can maintain a hover for a respectable eight minutes. Now, if only someone would perfect that light saber we've all been waiting for.


http://www.gizmag.com/japanese-spherical-flying-machine/20286/

That thing has loads of potential, for instance add some cameras and that thing would be a hell of an addition to security systems. It could be sent out to investigate most areas quickly and easily.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So it's a spherical helicopter? Nice toy. But it looks to be impractical for human flight. It a cage with fan blades on the inside. Isn't the inside where the passengers go? What a bloody mess that would be.

Unlike a helicopter it can slam into objects without destroying itself and it's a drone... I don't think it's intended for passengers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unlike a helicopter it can slam into objects without destroying itself and it's a drone... I don't think it's intended for passengers.

So it's a remote control helicopter with a protective cage around it. Doesn't seem like such a fantastic development or earth-shattering new technology to me. Meh.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So it's a remote control helicopter with a protective cage around it. Doesn't seem like such a fantastic development or earth-shattering new technology to me. Meh.

Well that because it isn't a break through new tech, They built it with commonly available parts for 1400 bucks. It is however a working concept that has many applications. To take your helicopter idea... if you did that and you hit a wall flight is over. As such it's useless

"Thanks to three onboard gyro sensors, the device effectively maintains its orientation and altitude, even after collisions. Numerous control surfaces also assist with attitude control"

The fact it can hit objects and land badly without losing mobility or the ability to fly away again is significant. Imagine being able show up at an emergency situation and fly assess the situation from all angle without risking anyone... it could even look through windows several stories and fly inside.

I bet SWAT teams would love to have one with a camera mounted on it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...