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Flying

The Kyosho Space Ball flies like an R/C helicopter, but can bounce off obstacles with ease...

Almost a year ago, the Japanese Ministry of Defense made quite a splash when it revealed a spherical, remote-controlled aircraft that could zip around a room, roll along the ground, and even bounce off obstacles without losing control. But while it was mainly designed for search and rescue operations, many R/C enthusiasts took one look at that hovering Death Star and said, "I have got to get me one of those." Luckily, toy company Kyosho must have been listening, since it recently released a similar flying machine of its own for consumers. Kyosho's "Space Ball" can remain airborne while taking just as much punishment and even emits a fragrance to freshen up a room in the process.  Read More

Flying quadrocopters at ETH Zurich's Flying Machine Arena catch and launch a ball using a ...

Swiss researchers have published a new video showcasing the impressive aerial cooperation capabilities of robotic quadrocopters. In the demonstration, a trio of quadrocopters tethered to a net fly in formation to catch balls tossed at them. Once they've caught the ball in the net, they are able to launch it upwards by stretching the net at each end.  Read More

Airbus envisages future passenger aircraft taking off with the assistance of a catapult-li...

A new report drafted by Airbus as part of its “Smarter Skies” initiative sees the aircraft manufacturing company looking toward 2050 and beyond, in order to consider what can be done to meet the expected growth in future air travel sustainably. The ambitious plans put forward include assisted take-off, free-glide landings, and aircraft flying in formation.  Read More

The FanWing company has announced that it plans to debut a piloted version of its rotary f...

With a traditional airplane, a propellor or jet engine pulls it forward, and lift is created as air subsequently flows over the wings. FanWing aircraft are a little different. They have a powered horizontal rotary fan along the leading edge of their single wing, which serves to pull air over it, creating lift without the need for speed. Britain’s FanWing company has been developing the technology since 1999, and has already had success with radio-controlled proof-of-concept models. This month, however, the company announced that it plans to debut a two-seater piloted FanWing aircraft at the 2013 EAA AirVenture air show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  Read More

A team of enthusiasts from a number of Czech companies has designed a flying bicycle with ...

From the Jetsons to Back To The Future, hopping onto or into a personal flying vehicle has been on the engineering "To Do" list for a good many years. We've seen a number of noteworthy attempts at defying gravity and taking to the skies here at Gizmag (many of which are featured in this roundup from 2010) and now another possible addition to that growing collection has landed on our desk. Known simply as the Flying Bike (or FBike), this collaborative effort from a bunch of Czech companies and enthusiasts is still very much in the early stages of development, but the proposal is to fit a number of electrically-driven propellers to the custom frame of a two-wheeler that will allow the pilot to rise above the traffic for as long as the batteries hold out.  Read More

Festo's SmartInversion flying object is filled with helium and uses inversion kinetics to ...

Festo, a German automation technology company that brought us, among other things, the smartbird robotic seagull and bionic flying penguins, has built a flying object unlike any we have seen. Despite the impressive biomimicry track record, this time its engineers decided to look for inspiration in the inanimate world of geometry. Based on a geometrical band first created by Swiss artist and inventor Paul Schatz, the SmartInversion is filled with helium and propels itself through the air by constantly turning itself inside out. By investigating this pulsating, rhythmical movement, called inversion, the company hopes to identify possible uses for it in technology.  Read More

France's FRAC Center is hosting an exhibition built entirely by flying robots

We were pretty impressed by the potential of these flying robots when we first covered this story in late November. Now the FRAC Centre in Orléans, France has released a video of the robot swarm in action during its current exhibition. Titled "Flight Assembled Architecture," the live installation showcases a fleet of quadrocopters building a six meter-high tower made up of 1,500 prefabricated polystyrene foam modules.  Read More

The paragliding motor trike concept by Zvezdan Nedeljkovic

It seems like such a simple concept, something Q might whip up for 007 in the next Bond flick: hook a recumbent electric motorcycle up to a paraglider, drive it off a cliff and see what happens. That's the thinking behind this offering from Serbian designer Zvezdan Nedeljkovic, and while the idea of attaching vehicles to parasails is far from new, there's something about Nedeljkovic's concept design that captures the imagination.  Read More

The OVO-4 is a full-motion, fully-enclosed light aircraft flight simulator, that can be yo...

Chances are, you will never get to try out the new 3D MiG flight simulator. If you have almost US$60,000 that has nothing better to do, however, you can now buy something almost as impressive – the OVO-4 Home Flight Simulator. The egg-shaped capsule contains a full simulated light aircraft cockpit, with three linked 24-inch monitors displaying the output of Microsoft’s Flight Simulator X. Best of all, however, the capsule pitches and rolls according to what’s happening in the simulation – users presumably have to supply their own barf bags.  Read More

Air Swimmers are remote-control model fish, that swim through the air

Should someone tell you “Last night, I saw a great white shark swimming through my living room,” don’t assume that they’re crazy. It could be that what they saw was an Air Swimmer. The remote-control toys (which are available as a shark or a clown fish) are able to swim through the air, turning, diving and climbing on command. Now all we need is an RC model penguin, that flies underwater.  Read More

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