February 21, 2017
Russian drone company teases real-life ‘hoverbike’
A Russian drone building company recently posted an online video teasing a single-seat ‘hoverbike’ that looks like a cross between a motorcycle and a quadcopter drone.
Dubbed the Scorpion-3, the electric-powered flying vehicle was designed by engineers who wanted to make “an extreme sports instrument” for both “amateur and professional navigators,” the company said.
According to The Next Web, the Scorpion-3 leverages in-house software to provide both automated and complete manual control. The vehicle has a built-in safety system that automatically regulates and restricts the maximum speed and altitude of the aircraft to be able to prevent accidents.
The Scorpion-3 isn’t the only quadcopter Hoversurf has constructed. In 2016, the company showcased a different aircraft prototype, which could be manipulated both remotely and manually by an on-board pilot.
Creating a Drone Hoverbike
The Hoversurf video comes after a Chinese company announced flying passenger drones would be coming to Dubai in July 2017. Drone builder Beijing Yi-Hang Creation Science and Technology Corporation said its automated Ehang 184 drone can transport a maximum of220 pounds using a quadcopter rotor system. It has enough power to travel more than 30 miles, at speeds up to 100 miles per hour. The Ehang 184 is highly autonomous. With its trip computer is connected to a manned control center, the drone can perform emergency landings, self diagnosis, and obstacle avoidance.
Matt Al Tayer, head of Dubai's Roads and Transportation Authority, explained that municipal authorities have evaluated the Ehang 184 in flight and concluded that it is safe and acceptable for public use.
The idea behind the drone is that of a limo service: it would carry VIP riders between nearby locations, like from the airport to urban hubs. It would become part of Dubai's broader drive for a cutting-edge transit system, an endeavor that includes having 25 percent of all vehicles on the road automated by 2030.
The Ehang 184 could be seen as a triumph not only for Chinese unmanned flight, but also for autonomous and networked systems to navigate urban airspaces. The technology could also be applied to medical evacuation and logistics.