Jarno Smeets has been working for several months on his Human Bird Wings project -- assembling long nylon wings powered by outrunner motors, rigging up a complicated Android + Arduino + Wii arm-waving control system -- and now -- according to the video he's just published -- they work! Man can fly!
Dinosaur fans have barely recovered from the revelation that some dinosaurs were not scaly, but feathered. Now it looks like those fans will have to update their mental imagery once more: several of the same researchers who brought us vivid images of colorfully feathered velociraptors two years ago have come out with a paper today in Science offering conclusive evidence of the first known iridescent dinosaur.
By Joshua SaulPosted 05.20.2011 at 11:03 am 7 Comments
In 2006, Darpa, the Department of Defense's R&D arm, commissioned AeroVironment, a company specializing in remote aircraft, to create an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) small enough to fly through an open window. AeroVironment had already built the 4.5-foot-wingspan Raven, which first saw combat over Afghanistan in 2003, but making a UAV so much smaller took five years and 300 different wing designs.
This cute hand-built quadcopter might not be able to play tennis, but it's not CrazyFlie's fault — it's much to small to bounce anything around. The copter is basically a flying printed circuit board and not much else.
By Paul KvintaPosted 03.23.2011 at 10:17 am 3 Comments
"The animals are telling us things," said Martin Wikelski, hopping out of the cockpit of his Cessna. He had just spent a chilly January morning chasing blackbirds in southern France. "Maybe they're saying, 'the next earthquake will happen this week,' or 'listen, we're telling you where this ebola outbreak is headed. Pay attention.'" The blackbirds hadn't been quite so explicit today, but by tracking data from radio tags temporarily glued to their backs, he had learned their heart rates and how fast they flap their wings.
Flying cars may seem to keep receding into that deliciously-imagined future, but this, one of the earliest prototypes, hails from 1934. It is now slated to go up on the auction block in Atlanta this coming weekend, according to Wired's Autopia.
Ever since Schuyler Skaats Wheeler introduced the first axial-bladed electric desk fan in 1882, fan technology has remained remarkably conservative. But that classic bladed design wasn't good enough for the innovative people at Dyson. With their new desk fan, Dyson has thrown out over a hundred years of axial desk fan technology to create the first fan that provides a continuous stream of smooth air.
The following videos of morphing wings from FlexSys Inc. are formatted in streaming Real Video. In order to view these clips you must have RealOne player installed on your computer. Click here to download a free player.