Hover bike: Star Wars technology brought to life
A hover bike resembling the ones from ‘Return of the Jedi’ has been developed by a US firm, bringing science fiction to life.
California-based firm Aerofex created an aerial vehicle with two ducted rotors instead of wheels, which originates from a design abandoned in the 1960s because of stability and rollover problems.
The aerospace firm managed to fix the stability issue by creating a mechanical system — controlled by two control bars at knee-level — that allows the vehicle to respond to a human pilot’s leaning movements and natural sense of balance, Innovation News daily reports.
“Think of it as lowering the threshold of flight, down to the domain of ATV’s [all-terrain vehicles],” said Mark De Roche, an aerospace engineer and founder of Aerofex.
The hover bike does not require special training and could become a useful tool in agriculture, border control and search-and-rescue operations.
“Imagine personal flight as intuitive as riding a bike,” reads the firm’s website. “Or transporting a small fleet of first-responder craft in the belly of a passenger transport. Think of the advantages of patrolling borders without first constructing roads.”
Aerofex does not plan on initially developing and selling a human version of the hover vehicle and instead plans to use the aerial vehicle as a test platform for unmanned drones.