Man builds flying machine using 54 drone propellers and a garden chair

midian182

Posts: 5,762   +46
Staff member

A British drone enthusiast known only by his YouTube user name, gasturbine101, has built a home-made flying (well, hovering) machine using 54 counter-rotational propellers.

Each of the 54 propellers on the Swarm Manned Aerial Vehicle Multirotor Super Drone, also known as the Swarm man, is just 18 inches in diameter. They are the standard RC aircraft types used at a relatively low fraction of their rpm capability. The design also includes a plastic dome that sits over the pilot's head to protect from the rain and the blades.

For most of the video the machine doesn’t manage to rise more than about 4 to 6 feet off the ground, although at one point it does appear to reach about 15 feet for a few seconds. After the test, the pilot concludes that there’s a lack of “yaw authority” and that the vehicle will probably need a tail propeller to control side-to-side movement.

The swarm man cost £6000 (about $9160) to construct and is powered by four cell batteries. Speaking about the build, gasturbine101 said: “The Swarm man carrying multi-rotor airborne flight testing montage. 54 counter-rotation propellers, six grouped control channels with KK2.15 stabilization. Take off weight 148kg, max lift, approx. 164kg. Endurance10 minutes. Power approx. 22KW.”

The YouTuber did point out that the Swarm man was never intended to make significant journeys or even fly much above head height, rather it was designed just for fun and to show what’s possible with a bit of ingenuity.

Check out the video below to see the Swarm man in action.

Permalink to story.

 

dividebyzero

Posts: 4,840   +1,264
Can't wait for this to take-off (!) in the U.S. I can see the headline now:
"Man sues drone makers for $10 billion after garden mishap - sites inadequate labeling warning of unsuitability for manned flight"
 
  • Like
Reactions: rpjkw11

captaincranky

Posts: 16,066   +4,866
Wow! A crowning triumph of utter uselessness.

Although next, I suppose Amazon will be petitioning him to deliver packages for them.

Can't wait for this to take-off (!) in the U.S. I can see the headline now:
"Man sues drone makers for $10 billion after garden mishap - sites inadequate labeling warning of unsuitability for manned flight"
I took a course in business practices in photography.

It was stressed constantly how you need a "signed model release", before publishing anyone's image, in any context other than breaking news.

The instructor somewhat snidely referred to that model release as, "defense exhibit 'A' ".
 

B00kWyrm

Posts: 991   +39
"Swarm"?
Sounds like one... a swarm of angry hornets.
Less expensive ways to clear the fall leaves off of your lawn, I would suspect.
But, hey. whatever spins your beanie prop.
 
  • Like
Reactions: learninmypc

captaincranky

Posts: 16,066   +4,866
"Swarm"?
Sounds like one... a swarm of angry hornets.
Less expensive ways to clear the fall leaves off of your lawn, I would suspect.
But, hey. whatever spins your beanie prop.
I suppose next Elon Musk will be announcing a $10,000 battery pack for it, then have so many pre-orders, he won't be able to fill them for months. And you're left stranded, leaves all over the place, with the ignominy of having to use a fossil fueled, environmentally destructive, internal combustion engined, leaf blower, to clean the damned lawn
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,066   +4,866
<p>The YouTuber did point out that the Swarm man was never intended to make significant journeys or even fly much above head height, rather it was designed just for fun and to show what&rsquo;s possible with a bit of ingenuity.</p>]
That's odd, because I would have sworn that it was built to show what can be done with too much time on your hands, along with having more money than brains.
 
  • Like
Reactions: B00kWyrm

stewi0001

Posts: 2,389   +1,879
TechSpot Elite
After watching the video, I was going to post that this was the future of leaf blowers. Then as I scrolled down to the comment box, I saw this. pure irony!
leaf blower.png
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,066   +4,866
Is that thing really called "The Ego & Power Blower". That's what the fool who built the hover thingy should have called it. Well, either that or, "near field space junk".
 
  • Like
Reactions: B00kWyrm

captaincranky

Posts: 16,066   +4,866
I thought The Ego Power+Blower was this guys autobiography title. My bad.
@dividebyzero I just got this. I'd never seen this fool until tonight, when Steven Colbert had him on the "Late Show" (CBS here in the colonies northeast of you). Big talker that one. Plus, it's a relief to know I can just as easily ignore the show now, as I could when Letterman was stinking it up.

In any event, Musk looks like a hybrid between Steve Jobs, and a young Arnold Schwarzenegger. Now it we could only train him to say, "isle bee Bach", every time Space-X blows up another rocket, the world would be a much funnier place.
 
It's normal to not be able to really comprehend new technologies or new applications of those technologies when you see them. Especially if they have not existed before. This guy might look like a crackpot, but what your really looking at is a very new flight paradigm that still has a lot of tech needed to be worked out. This design is basically a decentralized rotor system, as opposed to a single centralized rotor of a modern helicopter. Battery technology will get better, dc motor efficiency will improve, obstacle avoidance control systems will get more advanced. The potential applications for machines like this are huge, right along with current drone technology.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,066   +4,866
It's normal to not be able to really comprehend new technologies or new applications of those technologies when you see them. Especially if they have not existed before. This guy might look like a crackpot, but what your really looking at is a very new flight paradigm that still has a lot of tech needed to be worked out. This design is basically a decentralized rotor system, as opposed to a single centralized rotor of a modern helicopter. Battery technology will get better, dc motor efficiency will improve, obstacle avoidance control systems will get more advanced. The potential applications for machines like this are huge, right along with current drone technology.
The only thing I can say here is, "my, my, you certainly do impress easily". Sharp as a tack you are though, I would have never figured out he was using a lot of little propellers, instead of one big one.

And "better batteries", well just you wait and see, Elon Musk is going to take care of that, at least within the next couple of decades. He's going to ship them back to us, from his colony on Mars.

So tell me, how long do you think it will take this tech to mature to the point where vehicles like this will actually go somewhere?

This last, "giant leap forward in technology" I saw here was, some guy made a pair of boots so we could walk upside down like "Magneto". Of course you would need steel ceilings to actually do that. No matter, he built a steel track about 10 feet long so that he could live out his fantasy..

I was sort of waiting for his Missus to pull the plug on his shoes, and see him tumble, unceremoniously, to the cellar floor. At which point, (assuming he didn't break his neck), the wife would have handed him a leaf blower and told him to go clean the yard.

Later that same day, my fantasy continues, he hopped up the leaf blower and started cross-dressing as "Storm". And they all lived happily ever after, amen.

Anyway, me not wanting to be labeled a "Luddite", I'm off to watch the next attempt at a Space-X rocket launch. I confess though, it makes me nostalgic for the old USAF, "Vanguard" program.. Nothing spiced up the evening news like watchin' wun o' dem tall skinny rocket thingeys blow up real good, raht where it sat. :D Progress!;)

And BTW, if this century is any indication, "when smarter technology is invented, way stupider people will insist on being able to take advantage of it".
 
Last edited:

cliffordcooley

Posts: 12,334   +5,709
This guy might look like a crackpot, but what your really looking at is a very new flight paradigm that still has a lot of tech needed to be worked out.
What you really see here is a guy over a century late to the party. We have already been there, done that, and massively improved on the design since.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,066   +4,866
What you really see here is a guy over a century late to the party. We have already been there, done that, and massively improved on the design since.
I'm still waiting, with bated breath, for Musk's rechargeable batteries to enable an electric news chopper. Those stinking turboprops just guzzle gas, no gettin' around it. The "Teslacopter", as it were. Now doesn't have a nice musky smell to it?