It's the saving grace of every slow news day: you flip on the cable news networks during the mid-day reporting lull to find live video from news choppers tailing a perp as he tries to out-maneuver local law enforcement. But the privileged vantage point that allows you to see said perp ditch his ride and leap the fence behind an apartment complex is not shared by the cops on the ground.
Flying alongside drones might seem a bit strange for U.S. Army chopper pilots, but it has major payoffs. The U.S. Army found that a mixed flight force of manned and unmanned helicopters could locate and kill 90 percent of targets, compared to manned helicopter forces that located just 70 percent of targets, according to DOD Buzz.
No stranger to rough landings, NASA just engineered a crash of its own design to test a new crash countermeasure for helicopters. NASA dropped a donated Army MD-500 carrying four crash test dummies from 35 feet, to determine whether a new honeycomb cushion made of Kevlar strapped to the bottom of the copter could absorb the brunt of the impact. The result: a more or less intact MD-500, and the cool impact video below.
Roadside bombs have long represented the greatest killer of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, but there's hope beyond the sturdy little demolition bots that already work with their human handlers. The Pentagon now has two aerial drones on the testing docket as possible countermeasures for improvised explosive devices (IEDs)--one of which we're calling 'Helipanda' for the remainder of this post.
MIT's robotics whizzes have created a new flying drone that can navigate unknown indoor areas all by itself. The tiny helicopter manages its explorations by using an onboard laser scanner to map out walls and windows.
The researchers started with a quad-rotor helicopter developed by Ascending Technologies GmbH, and outfitted the micro aerial vehicle with sensors and instruments galore. Their laser scanner setup combines with a mapping algorithm to help compensate for the lack of GPS navigation in most indoor areas.
Ranging from the simple, like publicly available electric bikes and moving sidewalks, to the more futuristic, like a personal helicopter backpack and personal maglev car/pods, a new vision breaks down the future of public transportation. In the latest issue of European Union Infrastructure Magazine, it features the pros, cons and feasibility of implementing the world's most advanced public transportation system.
A farmer cares to bet his life on his DIY copter, but the Chinese government says no.
Anyone who dares to build a helicopter with wooden blades, a steel-pipe-reinforced frame, and a motorcycle engine deserves to go up in the thing. But the Chinese government has forbidden farmer Wu Zhongyuan from even attempting a test flight. We just want to see if the crazy contraption can fly.
What happened to you, Holland? You used to be cool. As every popped-collar, half-witted frat boy and Bonnaroo-attending, blond dreadlock-wearing neo-hippie moron repeats ad nauseum, you were the country kindest to the kind bud.
Well, apparently Dutch robots aren't quite so accepting of a little puff now and then.
American soldiers have a bevy of hand-launched unmanned aerial vehicles to choose from these days, but nothing quite as nimble, lightweight and cheap as the Stevens Institute of Technology’s unmanned helicopter. The chopper would allow soldiers to check tall buildings for enemies by flying the camera-equipped, remote-controlled helicopter up staircases and into hidden corners before they go in. The four-pound prototype is made of a doughnut-shaped fiberglass shell 18 inches in diameter; inside, two counter-rotating 14-inch rotors create lift.