Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Walking, Flying, Optionally Invisible Automaton

Utilizes 5 quadcopters at head, hands and feet to move.
  [vote for,

Five quadcopters, one made up as a head, two as hands and two as feet. They're programmed to fly in relation to each other in such a way as to mimic a person walking, the hand copters swinging forward and backward, the feet copters landing on the ground and then alternating bouncing forward and the head bobbing up and down.

The copters are connected by very light material that simulates the torso, arms and legs of a person.

You could also get rid of the body / arms / legs portion and just have an "invisible man" walking with a hat, gloves and shoes.

This could something cool to feature in a parade. As it came "walking" down the street I think people would really like it. It could be as tall as you wanted depending on how powerful the quadcopters were. Several stories tall if you wanted.

I'm picturing something that looks like the apple bonkers from the Yellow Submarine movie or the Nightmare Before Christmas character walking along since by necessity the appendages would need to be rather thin to reduce the load on the air vehicle elements.

Of course you wouldn't be limited to human figures, you could have dogs, elephants with an articulated trunk, insects. How about an octopus with flailing arms? A dragon or snake slithering through the sky with no arms or legs at all could be cool.

doctorremulac3, Dec 20 2016

Tall thin characters would probably work best. http://pre08.devian...ortonii-d8ct0ge.jpg
[doctorremulac3, Dec 20 2016]

This would be perfect. http://vignette1.wi...t?cb=20131120003928
[doctorremulac3, Dec 20 2016]

You could do this without the people having to hold it. https://www.youtube...watch?v=hKlO_3-hRCE
[doctorremulac3, Dec 20 2016]

These things could walk, dance, gesture. http://www.myadvert...9193957.680x739.jpg
Picture a row of these all dancing the same moves like a chorus line. [doctorremulac3, Dec 20 2016]

Air_20Swimming [xenzag, Dec 20 2016]

Old complicated version. Wacky_20Walking_20I...20the_20YMCA_20Song
[doctorremulac3, Dec 20 2016]


       This is an excellent idea.   

MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 20 2016

       Thank you Max.
doctorremulac3, Dec 20 2016

       Add strings of lights to this for a really cool night time display. A dozen of these things walking along blinking and flashing would really get people's attention.   

       This would be more effective that those fan powered flailing man displays. They could dance and wave. Picture one of these doing the Macarana in front of a car dealership for instance.
doctorremulac3, Dec 20 2016

       You should patent this before you... oh, wait.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 20 2016

       Still have 12 months from the date of publishing the idea.   

       I might. How much money did the guy who invented the fan powered flailing man thing get? I wouldn't mind a couple of million to pad my retirement account.   

       Think I'll send the provisional patent out today. Only costs a hundred bucks.   

       I'll keep you posted.
doctorremulac3, Dec 20 2016

       Good luck. One point that you probably already thought of - the drones can be powered from the ground to allow long flights.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 20 2016

       Yes, obviously, especially for the static ones you'd use for advertising in parking lots and whatnot.
doctorremulac3, Dec 20 2016

       Gonna call them "Air Walkers".   

       Might license 'em out to the companies who sell those air dancer things. Hundred bucks a pop.
doctorremulac3, Dec 20 2016

       Nice. Are the drones inside or outside of the clothing? Inside might present a huge aerodynamic challenge unless the clothing material breathes very well at key locations.
RayfordSteele, Dec 20 2016

       The material would be cheesecloth mesh or simply an array of ribbons.   

       Even individual ribbons would give the basic idea.
doctorremulac3, Dec 20 2016

       See last link.
xenzag, Dec 20 2016

       Yours is for a suit that people wear controlled by the person's movements. //Air Swimming requires the wearing of a Drone Suit.//   

       Mine's for a coordinated group of drones synchronized to mimic the shape and movement of people, animals or objects linked together by ribbons, lights, cloth etc to give the impression of a walking, gesturing or otherwise ambulatory entity.   

       (Working on my patent wording here.)
doctorremulac3, Dec 20 2016

       So it's the same thing, only in your case no one wears the suit.
xenzag, Dec 20 2016

       //a coordinated group of drones synchronized to mimic the shape and movement of people, animals or objects//   

       Drone formations are known, which might prior-art that claim as worded. I think the key patentable claim might be that the drones are connected by ribbons, LED strings or other visible items which form a part of the representation.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 20 2016

       consider beamed witricity to power them. A public domain idea
beanangel, Dec 20 2016

       Max, yes, you're right. The patent wording is important. It's the articulated material between the devices forming the image of the entity to be represented that's the main claim of the patent.   

       "Flexible Material Strung Between Aerial Vehicles Forming Visual Representations of People, Animals and the Like Whose Movements Are Articulated By Said Vehicles".   

       I'd try to shorten it up a bit but that's the gist of the claim.   

       //consider beamed witricity to power them//   

       Simple is always better.
doctorremulac3, Dec 20 2016

       //Maybe the patent should mention "gonflable with controlled articulation", which may be a different idea. Going that route it could be more about flappy valves than rotating blades.//   

       I already did a valve version of one of these on the HB back in 2014. (see link) Then I added flames to it.   

       It's gotta be easy, spectacular and cheap to be worth doing.
doctorremulac3, Dec 20 2016

       //I'd try to shorten it up a bit but that's the gist of the claim.//   

       Something like:   

       Claim 1: A device consisting of one or more aerial drones connected to a fixed support, to one another, or both, by means of at least one flexible or articulated linkage, such that the device represents a human, animal or other recognisable structure.   

       Claim 2: A device, according to claim 1, in which the linkage or linkages are of ribbon or fabric   

       Claim 3: A device, according to claim 1, in which one or more LEDs or other sources of illumination are affixed to the drone(s) and or linkage(s).   

       Claim 4: A device, according to any of the preceding claims, in which the drone(s) is/are moved in such a way as to animate the device.   

       Claim 5: A device, according to any of the preceding claims, in which the drone(s) is/are supplied with power through wires incorporated into the flexible linkages   

       etc etc etc.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 20 2016

       All my patents stick with one overarching claim. Besides, each additional claim costs money, both to file and to renew. When I filled out the part of the form that said "Would you rather be rich or good looking" I checked the latter so I've been trying to be frugal ever since.   

       Good patent writin' though there Max. Looks like you know your stuff. Still think you missed the boat when you didn't do that hinge idea of yours. The one where you use the spade bit (I think it's called) to counter sink the door and frame?   

       You still could. People do sell things without patents. Here's the deal that I've heard from at least one very successful rich inventor guy. By the time people decide it's worth ripping off it's because you've already made your money from it so just go for it.
doctorremulac3, Dec 20 2016

       Thanks [doc]. But I'm counting on making my money from the MaxCo Blaspheming Wood Chisel, rather than from easy-to-install hinges. It contains a pressure-sensitive trigger and a speech circuit, so that each time you hit it, it scrolls through a list of expletives.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 20 2016

       Ah yes, the old swearing woodworking tool. Definitely an un- tapped market.
doctorremulac3, Dec 20 2016

       I'll be looking forward to reaping the rewards from that patent given that my name will be replacing yours on it.
xenzag, Dec 20 2016

       You'd need to invent something to have your name on the patent for it.   

       Your "idea" was to attach rotor blades to a suit and fly around in it, an un-patentable idea in that there's nothing original about a flying suit except that you made it un- flyable by putting little helecopter blades all over it. My idea is not a flying suit. It is for an array of helicopters that fly in sync (not patentable yet, commonly known to exist) then stringing decorative representations of people, animals and such between them in configurations that, when combined with the helicopters flying in combined, synchronized motions that mimic the person or animal being represented give the appearance of that person or animal. Basically a puppet with quadcopters instead of strings. Most definitely not, a flying suit.   

       If you want to be in inventor, first invent something, then patent it and bring it to market as I actually have. Don't think you can steal other people's ideas because you had an unworkable "idea" that might have used some of the same parts.   

       Don't you have a Trump doll you need to stick pins in or something?
doctorremulac3, Dec 20 2016

       Well, this is warming up nicely.   

       Don't go away - I'll go fetch a mediator. [2fries], you busy?
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 20 2016

       Did help me to get my patent wording clear though. I'm going to call it "Marionette Articulated By Multiple Flying Vehicles" Nice and simple.   

       Gonna post her idea here just in case she tries to change it.   

       //Air Swimming swimming to Cambodia (+2) (+2) [vote for, against]   

       Air Swimmers look like they are preforming either the Crawl or the Breaststroke only through the air instead of in the water. Air Swimming requires the wearing of a Drone Suit. The Drone Suit has multiple motor driven blades located at strategic points along the back of the arms, legs and lumbar region. These are all linked so that the slow, gestural hand and leg movements characteristic of swimming are translated by gyros into a lifting and forward motion action, achieved by subtle and co-ordinated rotor blade feathering. Air Swimming is only recommended for low level travel. — xenzag, Aug 05 2016//   

       A drone suit directed by the movements of the person wearing it vs hanging decorative material between swarming programmed drones to represent various animated shapes characters.
doctorremulac3, Dec 20 2016

       I'm thinking they would have to be a combined claim perhaps. Drones that transport objects that look somewhat animated by the wind are already on the market although I don't know of any that utilize a formation to animate them; meanwhile drones that organize in formations also exist, but the combined claim might be considered novel enough.
RayfordSteele, Dec 20 2016

       Hmm. If you're willing to sacrifice the subtle control you would have with multiple drones, you could completely change this idea into a single drone, holding an upside-down wacky inflatable flailing-arm tube man, driven by the downdraft of the main rotor.   

       The figure could still be 'upright', but the air would be driven into its head, and it would be a wacky flying inflatable flailing-leg and -arm man. I wonder how impossible controlled flight would be.
mitxela, Dec 20 2016

       So many good ideas lately. (+)
I love this one.

       You want "me" to mediate?
Yikes, the barrel must be getting scraped pretty clean... The only part of infringement I really understand is the "fringe" part.

       I figure that dibs go to the first person to actually build a thing unless current technology doesn't allow it to be built in which case first to publically disclose would win out. No hundred bucks needed.   

       <shrugs> As you were.   

       Thanks 2. I really do want to do this.
doctorremulac3, Dec 20 2016

       I see the difference now. My original idea has a figure wearing the suit, where in your derivative version of my idea, the figure has taken the suit off.
xenzag, Dec 21 2016

       It's not a suit, it's a string of lights, or ribbons or other material that can form the outline of some figure to form a representation of that figure. It could be a person, an animal, it could also spell out words or form moving abstract patterns.   

       Hey, look! It's Donald Trump on the news! You need to go post some stuff about him!
doctorremulac3, Dec 21 2016

       One could use lasers to sketch the outline of the limbs, rather than connecting with tethers. Each drone must know the position of the other drones so directing a laser from one to another should not be hard. If powered from the ground or a rolling base (like a parade float) then this is less attractive. But at night and battery powered a laser-limbed drone thing would be able to make progidous leaps down the street, climb building walls, fly etc. Also with laser limbs one could assume different configurations on the fly: the thing could morph from long limbed man to bird to beast and back to man.
bungston, Dec 21 2016

       But lasers would only show up on foggy nights. Plus, getting permits to fly moderately powerful lasers on drones in a public space may be tricky.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 21 2016

       Yea, gotta keep is simple. The idea is to actually do this. Well, not this exactly but the other idea where you just have the re-configurable visual elements strung between the vehicles.
doctorremulac3, Dec 21 2016

       I am sure there are lasers which produce a beam visible on clear nights. I have seen them used for outdoor astronomy lessons. These might be the types which pose a hazard to helicopters, but I do not think the astronomers had any special permit.   

       An an aside I must insist that if any actual baking is done that all involved wear toques and aprons. At all times.
bungston, Dec 21 2016

       I think you should look online to see if there are drones that replace the batteries of other flying drones to keep it up in the air longer than half an hour.   

       Beamed witricity is another approach to continuously powering the multidrone figure
beanangel, Dec 21 2016

       Well, what are we trying to do here? If the idea is to entertain an audience for a few minutes we don't want to over-design.   

       Simple is beautiful.
doctorremulac3, Dec 21 2016

       //Simple is beautiful.// You've not met my cousin Gwethlyn.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 21 2016


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