Somehow we managed to overlook this rather unique ornithopter from our CES reports. Interactive Toy’s i-Fly Vamp is less than 10-inches, will soar both indoors and out, and is recommended for those over the chronological age of 8. It features a built-in lithium polymer battery that can last up to 30 minutes. The controller itself need 6 AA batteries. We have to admit the kewlest feature, however, is that glowing red eye. The Vamp is available at Radio Shack for $35.99, recently marked down $5.00. Here’s looking at you, kid.
Read More | Interactive Toy
Shades of Jeff Goldblum! Engineer Robert Wood has been working on a robotic fly since the late 90’s. After studying houseflies, bees, and fruit flies, he and his team created a layered composite that bends when electricity hits it, creating a micro-scale gearbox hooked to the wings. While the mass of a fly’s wings was figured to be 80 watts per kilo, this design produced more than 400W.
The Department of Defense liked his idea so much that they funded him, hoping the technology will be used for such applications as lost miners and military spying. Wood claims that he is only a third of the way there, as the next steps are to create an “on-board” power source and then teach the little buggers to fly en masse.
Read More | Harvard Magazine