This Spherical Flying Machine is One Little Ball of Awesome

Josh WolfordIT ManagementLeave a Comment

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Did you ever wonder what it would look like if you mixed a helicopter with an airplane and then wrapped it up inside a spherical cage? Well, you're in luck.

This spherical flying machine, developed by the Japan Ministry of Defense, is the first of its kind. As you'll be able to see in the video, it has the properties of a helicopter (and some other flying machines) - in that it can take-off and land vertically, as well as hover in place. But unlike the helicopter, it works like a propeller plane in order to zip forward at high speeds.

And why is it round? Here's what they have to say, courtesy of

Because the exterior is round, this machine can land in all kinds of attitudes, and move along the ground. It can also keep in contact with a wall while flying. Because it's round, it can just roll along the ground, but to move it in the desired direction, we've brought the control surfaces, which are at the rear in an ordinary airplane, to the front.

In our aircraft R&D, we have a plane that can stand up vertically after flying horizontally. But the problem with that plane is, take-off and landing are very difficult. As one idea to solve that problem, we thought of making the exterior round, or changing the method of attitude control. That's how we came up with this machine, to test the idea.

Oh yeah, and gyro sensors make it so that it can keep its altitude, even if it hits something.

Check it out:

We've been on a roll when it comes to awesome scientific demonstrations popping up on YouTube. If your thirst for awesome technological breakthroughs has yet to be quenched, why don't you take a look at quantum levitation, this awesome oil spill cleanup device, and this Holodesk that lets you interact with objects in virtual reality.

What possibilities can you see with this spherical flying machine? Let us know in the comments.

Josh Wolford
Josh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer. Follow him on Twitter: @joshgwolf Instagram: @joshgwolf Google+: Joshua Wolford StumbleUpon: joshgwolf

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