Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Electric Multicopter Lifts Man Into Sky:

Bzzzzz! The E-Volo can lift a man with just 16 electric rotors

Over in Germany, some crazy tinkerers sat a live human atop a giant “multicopter” and sent him spinning of into the sky above. They also pointed a camera at this heroic endeavor which — astonishingly — ended safely.

Quadrocopters are flying machines which use four simple rotors controlled by computers. They work in concert to sit still in the sky, or to tilt and propel themselves along. The team behind the E-Volo you see here decided that more rotors are better, and their flying machine sports 16 of them.

The team claims that this is the “first manned flight of an electric multicopter.” The key word here is “electric,” as multicopters have taken to the sky with human payloads for years.

The E-Velo sips power (a one-hour flight would use just €6, or $8, worth of electricity) and is controlled by a single joystick. The computer brain takes care of the actual attitude and directional control automatically.

The machine is close to maintenance-free, according to the team, and is also pretty safe. It can land safely after up to four rotors have failed, and as everything is underneath the pilot, he can use a parachute if things go wrong.

Still, there’s no way you’d get me on this thing. It looks terrifying. If God had meant us to fly, he wouldn’t have invented the bicycle.

E-Volo multicopter [E-Volo via DIY Drones and The Verge]

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