A Thomist learns to party on.
When I was a kid back in the 70s, my brother occasionally bought copies of "Flying Models" magazine, which was about remote-controlled model aircraft. They were expensive (hundreds of dollars, which adjusting for inflation would translate to thousands of dollars today). They all ran off of these temperamental 2-stroke glowplug engines because everybody knew that if you put on enough batteries to run a propeller driven by an electric motor, it would be too heavy to fly. And about all you could do with one was get it into the air (with some difficulty) and then fly laps around the park.And now, we have these pop-out-of-the-box-and-fly quadcopters, which are not only electric, but can fly for about 15 minutes *while carrying a camera*, for maybe a tenth of the cost. They may not be flying cars, but the sure are an advance over what we used to have!(In fact, the little $30 RC electric helicopter that my daughters have, is way more capable than anything that could be purchased in the 70s for *any* price)
My friend at work has used it to follow him around and video him while he runs. Apparently, it can intelligently track objects. Amazing.
It looks like they have about a 15 minute flight duration, which is OK, but not nearly enough to do all the flying shown in their little video of people making sand pictures on the beach. Although, you could do a lot with a lightweight power tether maybe around 20 feet long.What they *really* need, is some way to run them off of beamed power. Maybe something operating from a base station souped up from a satellite dish and a microwave oven magnetron. Then they could fly for hours!
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