curious_device, it's all speculation at this point, but many of your fellow engineers disagree as shown by their comments below. According to your qualifications for what is and isn't hype, several well-known products that clearly exist from large, reputable companies that also clearly exist are all hype, too.
Be aware - The video shows a quadcopter taking off from a hand. That is all. Don't let hype fill in the blanks. Their price/power/capabilites claims are not backed-up by what information they have published. Its lack of sensors is another glaring issue.
curious_device, there's at least one working device already: it's shown in the video. And suspecting the reality of a new invention or something one hasn't seen before is certainly understandable. But belief is not required to make something true, a principle that new robot designs keep demonstrating.
There have been enough comments from actual product engineers saying that the reality of this product is more than a little suspect. How on earth did this vapourware device end up on the cover of the Design News Automation and Control supplement?!?
I would have waited until they show one working, even slightly working, before hyping their product to the max. Seeing it on the cover is just hard to believe!
William is right about batteries, but there is an alternative. Super caps have the energy to weight ratio needed to support the toy. Fly time, however, will be very limited--perhaps disappointingly so. Cruise time is certain to be under 10 minutes.
Four motor, remotely controlled toy copters exist today, and micro power Cypress PSOCs, like the new PSOC5LP or PSOC4 show that the control, smarts, and communication are available running on a trivial amount of power.
I suspect you're right, William, about there being only one prototype; but then, that's often the case. Regarding batteries, good question, but I have been surprised at how long many of the palm-sized flying quadrotors we've reported on can last.
Right now I wonder if there is actually anything besides one prototype, and how much additional support does that prototype have beyond what we are seeing. There does not seem to be enough space to carry enough battery power to support all of the smarts claimed for this platform. Not that it wouldn't be a fun toy to have, but I would not wish to tie up my smartphone controlling a toy like that. But a flying camera that could also perch and stare could be either quite useful or lots of fun, and if it had it's own controller then it would be really something. Better than X-Ray vision by quite a bit, in fact.
And as for that back and forth string of insults about creation, my suggestion is to do a detailed study and examination of the DNA system, in the light of fundamental thermodynamics, and then look at the tables of values of energy required for various chemical bonds. Once you understand that, it becomes very evident that unless the basic laws of physics and thermodynamics ran backwards long ago, DNA did not just randomly assemble itself. Really, just consider what happened from an engineering point of view and consider what was required to produce the results that we see.
And looking at that little hand held model, where is there enough battery to fly it for more than a very few minutes?
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
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