Spherical Flying Drone Looks Like Something From Sci-Fi Movies
By Kevin Lee
PCWorldNov 1, 2011 11:29 am PDT
Airborne Drones are all the craze this year, and Japan is getting in the game too. Japan’s Ministry of Defense showed off a flying demo of their spherically-shaped drone at the recent Digital Content Expo in Tokyo.
A video from DigInfo shows this little drone taking off vertically, nimbly zipping around the room, and correcting itself when struck. A propeller blade powers the drone but it is also equipped with wings that allow it to fly at speeds of 40 miles per hour. The kicker is the drone only costs $1,400 to build using “off-the-shelf parts.”
The quick maneuverability shown on the video is comparable to the Parrot’s AR.Drone, but thanks to its spherical shape and three on-board gyroscopes, this drone won’t flip over and fall to the ground when it hits a wall. Japan’s drone can actually fly along a wall, or even land on the ground and roll to its destination.
This drone could be used for anything from security, military, photojournalism, or to replace camera cranes used on movie sets. At the same, time sci-fi buffs like me might think it looks a lot light those flying death bots from Doctor Who or those round syringe-wielding things hovering around the Death Star’s detention level.