The popular fund-raising platform, Kickstarter, was recently taken to by a French inventor seeking to raise funds to help construct and sell a drone called the Metafly. The drone design was inspired by winged insects, and with nearly 2,000 people pledging funds to help enable the drone to be sold on the market, its popularity is set to rise.
What’s so special about the Metafly?
Put simply, this drone has wings and uses them to generate lift rather than traditional propellers used by commercial drones. Modeled on a bee, the Metafly rapidly flaps its wings to create a difference between draft and lift, in much the same way that flying animals do. Unfortunately, this does cause the drone to fly in an erratic manner at times, but nonetheless its lightweight and easy to move around.
The Metafly’s inventor, Edwin Van Ruymbeke believes that his creation enables pilots to discover and experience a totally unique way of flying compared to other drones that are currently on the market.
How is the Metafly operated?
The two-channel remote control needed to control the drone, gives it the ability to perform stunning acrobatics in the air and move in ways other drones are simply not able to. The technology in the Metafly means that only skilled controllers would be able to successfully fly it indoors and out, and even then, operators need to be careful to avoid obstacles as the drone has no crash avoidance tech built into it.
This new drone can be flown for up to 8 minutes after a charging period of 12 minutes and can hit speeds of around 11 mph.
The fact that the Metafly uses wings to fly, means that there is no requirement for motors or batteries, and this naturally makes it weigh a lot less than traditional drones. Durable too, the drone is made from elastic materials and is fitted with bumpers on the front and back to give it extra protection in the event of a collision.
How did its creator come up with the drone?
It took Van Ruymbeke, an aeronautical engineer with experience of developing bio-inspired drones, more than 5 decades of playing around with technology and ideas, to be able to develop his latest flying drone. Inspired by insects, the Metafly could be leading the way for other makers of drones, and its technology could even be used to help save lives and shape the future.
If you want to purchase a Metafly for yourself, it’s currently selling for $89 on Kickstarter and is set to be shipped in September.