Together at last – an RC car and a quadcopter
By Ben Coxworth
May 24, 2013
Quadcopters are becoming more and more popular with radio-controlled model enthusiasts, but sometimes ... sometimes you still just want to remotely-control a car. If that’s the case with you, then UK-based product designer Witold Mielniczek has got you covered. His prototype vehicle, known simply as B, functions as both a quadcopter and an off-road racer.
The rear wheel-drive vehicle has a tough polycarbonate body, and four wheels referred to as driving rings. Each ring is driven not by a center-mounted axle, but instead by cog mechanisms at the bottom of the rim. This leaves the center of the rings clear for four 7-inch propellers, which allow the vehicle to get airborne on the fly (no pun intended).
The driving rings are flexible and removable, so they won’t snap every time B makes a hard landing. The propellers are also flexibly-mounted, adding to the vehicle’s crash-worthiness.
Power is provided by an 11.1-volt lithium-polymer battery, which reportedly provides up to 15 minutes of combined driving and flying per charge. Additionally, an onboard 720p video camera can record point-of-view footage to a Micro SD card.
Mielniczek has a working prototype, and now hopes to add features such as full waterproofing (allowing it to also serve as a sort of boat), the ability to suck itself onto walls, and a smartphone control app. Eventually, he might even look into the possibility of building a full-sized passenger-carrying vehicle based on the technology, that could be used for humanitarian purposes.
Before any of that can happen, however, he needs to raise production funds, so he’s turned to a Kickstarter campaign. A pledge of £320 (US$484) will get you a ready-to-assemble B, when and if the funding goal is met. If you don’t want to supply your own transmitter and would like to get a fully-assembled model, you’ll need to pledge £400 ($605).
B can be seen in action in the campaign video below.