Wednesday 30 April 2008

Air Jelly: Interior Flying Object (IFO)

The robotic company Festo has developed an Interior Flying Object. The object is a remotely controlled high tech toy and is the first indoor flying object with a peristaltischem drive which is able to maintain its position in the air by a central electric helium-filled Ballonett (video).

The AirJelly steers through three-dimensional environments by shifting its weight. Its two servo motors are located at the “North pole” of the jellyfish and controlled proportionally. If the pendulum moves in one direction, the AirJelly’s centre of gravity shifts in this direction – the AirJelly is thus able to swim in any spatial direction. The propulsive force of the drive can be varied by moving the Fin Ray® tentacles more quickly or slowly.

The only energy source that AirJelly has is two lithium-ion polymer batteries to which the central electric motor is connected. This will transfer the power to a bevel gear, and then successively to eight front wheels, cranks of the eight tentacles of jellyfish. Each tentacle is a structure with the Fin Ray Effect (PDF)

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