I was watching an old episode of Pawn Stars a few evenings ago. One of the items that really made me sit up was an AirBoard personal hovercraft.
The lady who owned it was hoping to get $15,000 for it. As it turned out, she was being a tad optimistic. I looked it up on the Internet and found that it sells for $14,000 new. This is way outside my price range, but it does look like so much fun.
The problem with the Internet is that it's so easy to get sucked in. Before I knew it, I was drooling over the Hoverbike shown in the video below (relevant footage starts at the two-minute mark).
Wait. There's more. I then ran across a video of... well, something hard to describe. Some folks call it a personal helicopter. I tend to regard it as an interesting way to shuffle off this mortal coil.
I still think that, if I had a choice, I would be tempted by the Aerofex hover scooter.
I can so see myself zipping around our neighborhood on this beauty. My son and his friends would be so jealous. Do any of these vehicles tempt you? Do you know of any ingenious modes of transportation that might tempt me?
Various personal VTOL has been proposed for decades but unfortunatelly, never be successful. The biggest problem is safety concern against power fail. When power is failed, VTOL will immediately fall like a stone. Imagine you are diving from concrete wall on a bicycle with some 100lbs of stuff strapped on your back. Even from altitude only 10ft, it will hurt you pretty much.
Airplane can glide (unless wing came off). Helicoper can auto-rotate (give spin to roter like windmill, reducing decent rate by drag). No such power-failure safe landing method is built in with thurst-lift VTOL. Some designer tried to give redundency with multiple engines, but this option will reduce already scarce payload capability.
We'll need near-100% reliable power source, or some genious method of soft landing on power fail. I think if parachute can be launched and blossomed with exprosive (or compressed gas) so it can be deployd from low altitude...
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.