Thursday, June 19, 2008

Update on Woody Hoburg's guided monocopter project

Report from Francis Graham on the Monocopters Yahoo Group:
Reports Tripoli Pittsburgh member Woody Hoburg at MIT, Dr. Kosdon's old cradle of creativity (and many others):
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I am happy to present: videos of two successful flights of a controlled monocopter down the MIT Infinite Corridor.

http://web.mit.edu/whoburg/Public/Infinite_Flight_1.wmv
http://web.mit.edu/download/whoburg/Public/second_floor_infinite_flight.mov
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Hurrah for Woody Hoburg!! This is a new age for monocopter flight indeed.
Woody did not use a rocket, but an electric propeller system.
This solved a problem: how do you give a vehicle that completely rotates a reference frame to fly in? Earlier, I proposed using the sun as a guidance sensor, and wing flaps on solenoids that snapped and altered the course when the sun rushed by the sensor. Woody modified my crude idea to use an IR beam and originated many other sophistications. But possibly even an outside gamma ray or microwave source could be used, allowing the UAV to be maneuvered in a room with no windows. For example, survey of empty structures with the gamma ray source. Potentialities exist with bug-like surveillance UAVs. Or just having fun: monocopter races, why not? Or little UAVs which deliver small items in office complexes or around small towns.
The world has not seen the last of the monocopter. Or Woody.

Francis Graham
East Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
How awesome is that?