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Feather-Star Ornithopter

If you've never seen a Feather Star you gotta check them out. [link]]
  [vote for,

I actually went so far as to start collecting the widgets I would need to make this one work but I think they got lost in the move.



Okay so picture a slinky wrapped in a circle so that it becomes a torus ring.
Now picture long bendy feathers attached firmly to the slinky at off-set locations so that when the torus rotates the feathers catch air and hovering is achieved.
The mechanism rotating the torus hangs beneath and provides ballast for vertical orientation while the feathers hanging beneath this ballast can be actuated rapidly in any direction displacing enough air to cause the contraption to tip for directional control.

I was going to start with a wind-up version first but then got to daydreaming about an autonomous feather dusting bot that would hunt cobwebs and sweep door and window casings when you weren't home.

Feather stars https://www.youtube...watch?v=OyketlthVWg
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Nov 14 2020]


       Do feather-stars actually use their weird "continuous flap" for locomotion, or is it just for the filter-feeding? Not saying it wouldn't work as an ornithopter, but it might not work particularly well, and rotating a torus around it's poloidal axis would be mechanically complicated (depending on how many individual rotating sections you have).
neutrinos_shadow, Nov 15 2020

       Yep, they 'fly' through water. When they get too big and heavy they walk on the sea floor.   

       Not too many moving parts. Two half-torus plastic slinkys. Two discs with an outer lip which the bent slinkys attach to and the drive system hangs from. One omni-directional servo. Power source. One micro processor. A small amount of epoxy, and an assortment of feathers until I find the ones that catch the air just right.
Rotational speed determines vertical orientation,
Offsetting counter-weight determines horizontal orientation.

       A bit of tweaking later...   

       and you've got an indoor Dust-Roomba-3000-inator.   

       They would make for really cool probes on gas giant planets too. Getting all blown around in the wind like spores.   

       Ironically, the best feathers might be ostrich plumes.
spidermother, Nov 16 2020

       It would be wise to check that. If you can't get actual ostrich feathers, you might have to Emu-late them somehow ...   

       Thankfully, it's possible to obtain the plumes without harming the bird. If you killed it for its feathers and then the device didn't work, yet again it would be a case of "The poor old ostrich died for nothing"...
8th of 7, Nov 16 2020

       A non-flying version could be made like a giant spider. That would be less power-hungry than flying, could operate under furniture, but best of all would freak people out big time.   

       Imagine - instead if a Roomba, a scuttling hairy black arachnid, the size of a dinner plate ... go to psychosis, go directly to psychosis, do not pass counselling, do not collect two hundred milligrams of benzodiazepine ...
8th of 7, Nov 16 2020


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