MIT's Robust Robotics Group seems to be as thrilled with the Kinect and the hacking possibilities that emanate therefrom as we are. They've attached a Kinect to a quadrocopter, which enables completely autonomous 3-D mapping and flight--even the processing is done on board.
Who will build the fastest experimental helicopter?
By Joseph A. BernsteinPosted 01.05.2011 at 10:28 am 16 Comments
The cabin of a helicopter flying faster than 170 knots (196 mph) is a perilous place. Vibrations experienced at such high speeds can quickly exhaust pilots, obscure instrument panels, and knock equipment loose. (Pilots commonly joke about lost dental fillings.) Now two major helicopter manufacturers have independently solved the decades-long engineering problem of increasing speed without sacrificing chopper stability or maneuverability, laying the groundwork for dramatically faster emergency-rescue operations and battlefield resupply missions.
Gyroscopes and infrared blasters ready radio-controlled helicopters for midair battle
By Eric AdamsPosted 01.04.2011 at 10:56 am 0 Comments
Unsophisticated electronics and design used to keep tiny R/C helicopters out of the fight. Eventually, motors the size of aspirin capsules let companies stack two counter-rotating rotors to cancel out torque from the spinning drive shaft; this increased stability but not enough to make dogfighting any fun. Enter Force's new ready-to-fly line.
The CSAR DiscRotor, a collaboration between Boeing and DARPA, was approved back in 2008. It's taken two years to get an animated video of the insane retractable-wing heliplane, but all that time and money has clearly been worth it, because this thing looks awesome.
Mating a rocket with a helicopter sounds improbable, but only until you watch the Dragonfly DF1 take to the skies. DVICE reports that the rocket-powered copter received airworthiness certificates last November, and may go on sale as early as this year.
The copter makes use of tiny hydrogen-peroxide-powered rocket motors on the tips of the blades, which replaces the traditional engine-powered rotor. Large fuel tanks surrounding the pilot allow the Dragonfly to travel at up to 40 mph for 50 minutes.