Computational creativity and the future of AI

Jetpack

Mock-up of the Jet Vest, currently under development by Jet Machines Extreme (Photo: JME)

The Bell rocket belt captured the world's imagination when it was featured in the 1965 James Bond movie Thunderball. Now, the folks at Jet Machines Extreme (JME) are designing a modern version not powered by rockets, but by a set of four miniature turbojets. The new Jet Vest is expected to offer free flying times nearly four minutes in duration. Having run short of development money, JME is exploring another modern innovation by reaching out to crowd-funding site Kickstarter for a boost.  Read More

The Martin Jetpack is now regularly being flown at speeds of 50 km/h (31 mph)

When we first covered the Martin Jetpack back in March, 2010, the creators were hoping to get it on the backs of buyers sometime in 2011. While 2011 has come and gone, the New Zealand-based Martin Aircraft Company is continuing test flights and is now seeking investors to help bring the manned Jetpack to market in mid 2013.  Read More

With both the Flyboard and Jetovator under US$10,000, an entirely new water sport can be h...

The propagation of new thought in any global arena doesn't take long these days and with rapid development teams capable of building and testing prototypes in just a few months, entire markets can seemingly spring from nowhere. In 2009, JetLev showed its US$100,000 Jetlev (top left). Within months of production starting, French PWC legend Franky Zapata recognized that most of the hardware required for such a device was already contained in a PWC and created the Flyboard (top right) - a US$7500 accessory that attaches to any existing PWC with 150 plus horsepower. Now the people who brought you the Sea Breacher (bottom left) have completed a long-standing project to build the Jetovator (bottom right), a jet bike with a motorcycle seating position and controls. Three competitors makes a market - and all inside three short years.  Read More

The jetpack pilot puts an exclamation point on this ad

The "world's most expensive billboard" might bring about thoughts of neon lights lofted high above prime city real estate, but it probably wouldn't make you think of jetpacks. However, an interactive billboard with a soaring jetpack is exactly how a Middle Eastern skydiving outfit and American energy drink company found their way to what they call the world's priciest billboard.  Read More

The Zapata Flyboard: Aquaman meets Iron Man

We don't think Franky Zapata knows what's about to hit him. The French jet ski champion has just put together an absolutely insane leisure product, released a short video about it - and then took off on honeymoon, where presumably he's having about the least romantic getaway of his life as his phone and email inbox go absolutely bananas. And here it is: the Zapata Flyboard. This ingenious and deceptively simple device bolts on to the powerful motor of a jet ski, then routes the resulting water jet through a long hose that connects to a pair of jet boots and hand-held stabilisers. The arrangement lets you fly, Iron Man style, up to 9 metres in the air - or leap headfirst through the waves like a human dolphin. The best part? You can buy it for under 5000 Euro (US$6700). That is, once Franky digs his way out from under the avalanche of orders he's going to come home to.  Read More

Daredevil Yves Rossy, aka Jetman, has successfully flown across part of the Grand Canyon (...

Yves Rossy, the former Swiss jet fighter pilot better known as Jetman, flew over the Grand Canyon last Saturday (May 7th) using his wearable jet-propelled wing. It was the first time he has flown with the device in North America, having previously used it to cross the English Channel, perform an aerial loop, fly in formation with stunt planes, and to unsuccessfully attempt traversing a stretch of the Atlantic Ocean between Morocco and Spain.  Read More

The Jetlev-Flyer in action

We first came across the water-propelled jetpack early in 2009 and since then the company has changed its name to Jetlev Technologies and teamed up with German company MS Watersports GmbH to get the machine to market. Now the first JetLev R200 jetpacks are set to hit the water, and while it won't let you beat traffic on your daily commute – unless your home and workplace are conveniently located along the same body of water – it does look like a whole lot of fun.  Read More

Yves 'Jetman' Rossy flies in formation with the Breitling Wingwalkers

We last checked in with Jetman Yves Rossy late last year when his attempt to complete the first intercontinental jetpack flight from Morocco to Spain unfortunately fell short. However, that setback hasn’t deterred Rossy, who has spent the time since developing and testing a fast extracting pyrotechnic parachute and a lighter and more powerful jet-propelled wing. The new “delta wing” is designed to allow take-off from the ground and provide more freedom to realize aerobatic maneuvers, which no doubt came in handy on his latest airborne undertaking – performing some precision formation flying alongside the Breitling Wingwalkers.  Read More

Total Experience is offering a Jetpack 'test pilot' program

If you dream of strapping into a Martin Jetpack and taking to the skies Boba Fett-style but you don't have a lazy US$86K lying around, there is another option. New Zealand adventure travel specialist Total Experience has teamed up with Martin Aircraft to offer a Jetpack "test pilot" program where anyone who is under 18, less than 90kg and holds a current driver’s license can experience solo flight for the (relatively cheaper) outlay of NZD15,000 (about US$10,700).  Read More

The Martin Aircraft jetpack is the first commercially-available jetpack

It's been a long time coming. While Arthur C. Clarke's satellites have taken to space, and James Bond's futuristic mobile technology has become common place, still the legend of Icarus has captivated us and the dream of sustained personal flight has eluded us. But the future is here! Finally we can all take flight as Martin Aircraft in New Zealand releases the first commercially-available jet pack!  Read More

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