Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Autonomous Flapping Tetrahedron

AFT or TFD for Tetrahedral Flapping Drone
  [vote for,

This is a UAV made of 4 buzzing motors, 4 springs or foam arms and 4 bird feathers, all from the same side of the bird so that they will all be either right or left handed.

The buzzing motors are the same kind that drive those little toothbrush heads in robot kits, but could be scaled to be more powerful, and each can be controlled individually by a balancing software.

The buzzing motors move in a toroidal loop, a motion which the foam arms will adaptively translate to the feathers to move them in the same figure 8 motions that birds use in flight, wasting no energy.

The result is 4 feathers positioned at the points of a tetrahedral shape and connected by a four armed foam or spring tree with a motor block at the center.

A tetrahedral flapping drone.

This vehicle also might incorporate heavy gyroscopes that store energy, not just for navigation, and leverage.

So the foam arms could be articulated once, with an elbow close to the engine block, so that the elbow would store energy and adaptively translate it to the longer part of the arm, at the end of which would be the feathers.

JesusHChrist, Nov 23 2016


       Are you and [beany] having a race?   

       Anyway, I didn't understand the bit that says //The buzzing motors move in a toroidal loop, a motion which the foam arms will adaptively translate to the feathers to move them in the same figure 8 motions//. What's a toroidal loop, and how does that get translated into a figure 8 motion?
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 23 2016

       I was thinking that it was like a 3D figure 8, or like a planetary orbit or a trefoil knot. I was thinking that the center of mass of a motor moves in an orbit and that energy can be stored and distributed.
JesusHChrist, Nov 23 2016

       // What's a toroidal loop, //   

       A topological artefact.   

       //and how does that get translated into a figure 8 motion? //   

       A Laplace transform ?   

       // I was thinking that it was like a 3D figure 8, //   

       So, a Tokamak ?   

       // or like a planetary orbit //   

       .... which is an ellipse ...   

       // or a trefoil knot. //   

       ... which cannot be mapped onto a closed path.   

       // I was thinking that the center of mass of a motor moves in an orbit //   

       It conforms to Kepler's Law ? No, it rotates around a fixed axis. That's an entirely different type of (constrained) motion.   

       // and that energy can be stored and distributed. //   

       Kinetic energy ?
8th of 7, Nov 23 2016

       Two hummingbirds, with that hummingbird wing motion thing, both simultaneously grasping the same piece of chocolate from the MWI candy bar contest
beanangel, Nov 23 2016

       The words make sense individually, but not when you put them in this particular order.
It might be a good idea, buried in there somewhere.
I'm going to need a sketch (or a model) if I'm to make head or tail of this.

On the other hand, you might need to take either more drugs, or not so many...
neutrinos_shadow, Nov 23 2016

       Maybe this would work better if the individual engines were further down each arm rather than at the center. I guess you could tune it.
JesusHChrist, Nov 25 2016

       Hey J everything ok?
pashute, Nov 27 2016

       The problem with this idea is that a tetrahedron has too many edges and corners. Somebody once told me that edges and corners were bad.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 27 2016

       The feathers are positioned at four points in space that form a tetrahedron but there isnt any thing structurally along the edges. I think the easiest way to do it is to have four springs attaced at a central weight and at the end of each spring a feather. I think it would work best if the wobble motors are positioned along the springs somewhere. I guess you could tune it by moving the engines, but you could do that with software too.
JesusHChrist, Nov 27 2016

       None of these work right now because... I dont have the weights / tension / dimensions right, thus the awesomely bad first and second flights, but the concepts are there, I know because I have been winging these objects around my body as I walk and I can feel that they are capable of holding their own weight if they were set to resonate by a motor. These objects follow a figure 8 path around your body if you walk with them and hold them loosely. The concepts are the same in all of them. I use springs, resonance, weights that move back and forth at a similar frequency to one at which the arms with feathers at the end of them vibrate, roll foam into 3D shapes based on the way the template is shaped, and use tactile interfaces like sculpey coverd handles, tapered duct tape funnels with the sticky part on the outside, and duct tape weaving. Each object works because the material gyroscopes around itself. So you can incorporate those hand gyros too, but the springs act a gyroscopes if you taper them from a loose coil to a tight coil. The tight knot stores energy and then distributes it incrementally with the resonance.
JesusHChrist, Nov 27 2016

       If you have four feathers, all performing similar motion, and arranged in a tetrahedron, the net lift will be zero, shirley?
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 27 2016

       No because the up feather becomes the axis so it doesnt cover any area with each flap. The other three move just like a birds wing pushing up.
JesusHChrist, Nov 27 2016

       If a bird's wings pushed up, the net downward force would merely assist it in staying on the ground, shirley ?
8th of 7, Nov 27 2016

       I will wager [8th]'s Hornby train set that it doesn't work.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 27 2016

       I will see your train set and raise you one future.
JesusHChrist, Nov 27 2016

       You're on.   

       As an initial feasibility study, can I suggest you glue two hummingbirds together at the appropriate angle, and test their combined airworthiness?
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 27 2016

       It would be better gluing two cats together. Here's $20, go buy yourself a cartload of glue.   

       [MB], you keep your thieving mitts off our train set. That's NOT negotiable ...
8th of 7, Nov 27 2016

       It's not theiving, it's a simple wager.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 27 2016

       <starts hiding favourite locos in obscure places in Cube>   

       <William Wallace>   

       "They may take our lives, but they'll never take our Ivatt Class C1 Atlantic !"   

       </William Wallace>
8th of 7, Nov 27 2016

       //It's not theiving,//   

       Indeed, it's (sp.) thieving.
pertinax, Nov 29 2016

       Damn. That "i before e" thing always catches me out. I blame a lifetime working on proteins and nucleic acids - thier spelling is messed up.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 29 2016

       I have been pondering this. I think the toothbrush motors are little offset motors. Could they produce enough tork to flap a foam appendage?   

       hmmm.. scheme scheme...
bungston, Nov 29 2016

       If you wring your hands gently together while you are plotting and scheming to overthrow the world, and you are wearing a bendy wing, then let the nervous, conniving sweat dry on your fingertips just enough and yogically dance/shake your whole body in adaption to the structure of the bendy wing, and the frequency of the vibration of your fingertips on the outside of your hands will vary with a rising a falling pitch that sings in accordance to the emotional resonance of your electrical field.
JesusHChrist, Nov 29 2016

       [JHC], have you considered becoming a faecal transplant donor?
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 29 2016

       I am amalgamating a collection of the most incredible stomach bacteria in the world by putting myself in the most awesome situations in the world over and over again until I have accumulated a star menagerie of stomach guys so that I can give my feces away for free to everyone via the public library.
JesusHChrist, Nov 29 2016

       // public library. //   

       Sounds more like a book depository ...
8th of 7, Nov 29 2016

       //by putting myself in the most awesome situations in the world over and over again // Have you considered venturing outside the USA in persuivance of this goal? The French, for example, have quite a remarkable collection of bacteria. Or does your passport still have that UV ink-mark?
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 29 2016

       I've been to France a couple of times but only had espresso. Baguettes and pig in a can. It wasn't the bacteria fest you would think. Otherwise I'm kind of like the guy from Perfume by Patrick Suskind, except I collect the chemistry on the inside of my body rather than outside in perfume bottles, by taste rather than smell, by just licking everything I find pleasing.
JesusHChrist, Nov 29 2016

       That kind of behaviour can get you thrown out of the Brownies.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 29 2016


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