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Together at last – an RC car and a quadcopter

By

May 24, 2013

B is a combination RC car and quadcopter, which can be driven or flown

B is a combination RC car and quadcopter, which can be driven or flown

Image Gallery (6 images)

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.

Some of B's features

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.

Source: Kickstarter

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
33 Comments

There's only one thing left to do... Make it bigger, and give us our flying car!

Richard J. Auchus
24th May, 2013 @ 05:06 pm PDT

Think about what percentage of the drivers that you see you want controlling a vehicle that can fly over you and your loved ones.

Slowburn
24th May, 2013 @ 05:44 pm PDT

Yeah, seems like there was a DARPA program to develop a flying car concept that could roll on secure roads and fly over hazards like IEDs or escape ambushes.

When saw the first photos of it, I wondered if the wheels would rotate 90 degrees to form prop bumpers.

Bob Ehresman
24th May, 2013 @ 06:32 pm PDT

I dream about it. It is a feasible idea considering the propeller size. Additionally coaxial unit can be mounted to double the thrust or decrease the diameter of the wheel.

Witold Mielniczek
24th May, 2013 @ 08:02 pm PDT

Nicely done Mr. Mielniczek!

yrag
24th May, 2013 @ 11:04 pm PDT

Well designed concept. It is different and thought provoking. Plus, it can actually be used in reality with little change. This concept should encourage more practical designs, soon.

Nantha Kumar Nithiahnanthan
25th May, 2013 @ 02:23 am PDT

this + more flexible wheels, for better comfort + google self-driving algos and we've got ultimate transportation solution

Rustam Eynaliyev
25th May, 2013 @ 03:54 am PDT

Amazing concept definitely impressive.

shadyside
25th May, 2013 @ 04:52 am PDT

Hi

thank you very much for positive comments, It is a pleasure to see people with imagination sharing the same dream in one place!!

If the car would make it to full size, it would look different has more safety features. For example coaxial unit to decrease the size of wheel and have higher static thrust from the same surface area, blade guards, Twin engine etc. endless possibility to make it real....

For good sake no!! no flying in the city is too loud already!!!! just open empty space to jump over the traffic or go for a picnic in the middle of nowhere!! B could also serve as rescue vehicle and get to accident site before anything else!

Witold Mielniczek
25th May, 2013 @ 07:48 am PDT

When I saw the design I thought that the car was going to use the props like an airboat (with wheels), but I suppose that would not have very good performance.

Michaelc
25th May, 2013 @ 08:45 am PDT

This guy is a genius!!

Jonathan Cole
25th May, 2013 @ 09:25 am PDT

HOLY CRAP! What a great idea. Scale it up. I would give up driving manually to be able to fly autonomously

rwalker
25th May, 2013 @ 04:38 pm PDT

Question is, would simply scaling it up be feasible?

And yeah, at first I thought that the wheels would turn as well, but that would be a moving part that could, potentially, break.

Simple, elegant, brilliant Mr. Mielniczek, I hope you make a fortune off of this. :)

Foiled
26th May, 2013 @ 06:51 am PDT

If you could add an Area Proximity Warning/Avoid coordinated with a GPS, that would be great. So you could set it to fly a path and it would be itself, avoid any obstruction in the way. That could be trees, houses, cars ect. The path it should fly could be made in google maps and then uploaded to the drone.

Christian Steinlein
26th May, 2013 @ 12:50 pm PDT

Amazing and impressive concept.

Gurminder J Singh
26th May, 2013 @ 05:47 pm PDT

Love the idea - how about the camera using a Wi-Fi link back to a pair of glasses/goggles to give the sensation of live piloting? Then make a mount for a small .410 shotgun with a trigger servo and you could go rabbit hunting on the other side of the hill!

The Skud
26th May, 2013 @ 09:39 pm PDT

Flying car idea should not be poopoo'd so fast.

If a usable technical design can be created then the idea has "legs" (or wings), BUT the product should only be available to those with a PPL and come under the regulation of the FAA.

Job done.

Chris Winter
26th May, 2013 @ 11:42 pm PDT

make wheel covers that are wing shaped, tip it sideways and FLY!!?

acorn
27th May, 2013 @ 06:07 am PDT

What a great idea! Congratulations Mr Mielniczek !

I believe all transportation will soon be automated... so this concept has a future!

One big problem with automating things and processes is that people loose 'shape' very quickly and when automation fails, disaster comes. That is happening in all types of aviation - already... On the other side, given the density of traffic we can't avoid automation (like e.g. collision avoidance system).

Volodya Kotsev
27th May, 2013 @ 07:39 am PDT

Great fun.

8 blades instead of 2 and you might have too much lifting power.

Lewis M. Dickens III
27th May, 2013 @ 09:16 am PDT

the concept is spectacular...... The demonstration video is way , way too long ... at least put the important *bits* in the first 30 seconds , then go into more detail. I imagine you will be very successful with this.

99gusPuppet
27th May, 2013 @ 10:16 am PDT

Just need a better energy source and this will be practical for all cars.

Matthew Harden
27th May, 2013 @ 10:16 am PDT

Amazing concept and presentation--though the one thing missing from your video: showing the vehicle taking a ramp jump to become airborne. *THAT* would definitely knock it out of the ball park!

Ken Romero
27th May, 2013 @ 11:31 am PDT

How about using an Arduino or Propeller micro computer for the onboard flight controller,, and making the code open source so people can add stuff like GPSs and so forth?

famousperon
27th May, 2013 @ 12:33 pm PDT

Awesome, fresh concept. Good luck with it Eng. Mielniczek. I was thinking that the wheels would turn, surround and guard the propellers in flight, but maybe that would add too much weight and complexity. Regardless, I love it.

I was happy to hear you say that it would be used for humanitarian purposes. Making money on killing people is not my idea of a good application.

ezeflyer
27th May, 2013 @ 01:20 pm PDT

SPOT ON Slowburn that is why I call my daily 2.3 mile one way commute DWTS,, Driving With The Stupids we agree!

Bill Bennett
27th May, 2013 @ 07:39 pm PDT

Excellent desingn very well done! Congratulations

German Feuchter
29th May, 2013 @ 07:37 am PDT

THIS is where the next design for the real thing should come from. Best design I've ever, ever seen to incorporate a car with flight.

Dave Andrews
3rd June, 2013 @ 02:41 pm PDT

Something like this radar should be incorporated into the full-sized model:

http://www.gizmag.com/compact-radar-fraunhofer/26844/

Dave Andrews
3rd June, 2013 @ 02:51 pm PDT

Looks like a copy of the Subaru concept police pursuit vehicle. Intended for use on Hawaii’s inter-island Paradise Highway, the SHARC (Subaru Highway Automated Response Concept)

http://www.gizmag.com/subaru-sharc/25301/

BundyGil
3rd June, 2013 @ 09:44 pm PDT

I think that is really cool. I like the idea that it might be 'upsized' to fit a person. It would only make sense that the human carrying version would be different looking; safety issues and emission issues.

I think the person carrying version would have ducted fans since it would protect the propellers and any one standing nearby. I think the ducted fan could also provide more thrust and might be quieter.

Perhaps it could be a hybrid with electric motors power the wheels and blades and a tiny gas turbine powering an electric generator. Instead of using complex gears to switch power from the blades to the wheels, one would just turn a switch or setting.

a tiny gas turbine like the below site.

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2007/08/tiny-gas-turbin/

BigGoofyGuy
12th June, 2013 @ 05:46 am PDT

My jaws just dropped after going through this article. A off-race racer and an quadcopter all in one. Simply amazing. What more a man wish to have his car flew on the air when ever he wishes and games for race on road as well. Truly hats off to the developers for creating history with this. I wish we could avail these wonders very soon in near future.

Alex Jackson
31st July, 2013 @ 05:36 am PDT

Uh,

I don't think it can fly?

The props are not moving air in the correct direction.

Buzz Allnight
9th April, 2014 @ 01:58 am PDT
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