In the coming year, engineers will continue working on the prototype, which the company boasts will be lighter, safer, quieter and greener than any other helicopter in the world.
That’s because a traditional helicopter uses one rotor to provide lift and a tail rotor to prevent the aircraft from spinning in circles. It maneuvers by changing the pitch of the two rotors. The volocopter has 18 small rotors mounted in a configuration that provides lift without causing the vehicle to spin. It navigates by changing the speed of individual rotors.
Showing 29 posts tagged electricity
There are quite a few neodymium magnets falling through copper pipes on the internet, but we can still understand why this demonstration video is making the rounds: it’s just so cool looking! We’ve covered the phenomenon of magnetic damping before:
When a magnetic field moves through a conductor a current called an Eddy current is induced in the conductor due to the magnetic field’s movement. The flow of electrons in the conductor creates an opposing magnetic field to the magnet which results in damping of the magnet and causes heating inside of the conductor similar to heat buildup inside of power cords. The loss of energy used to heat up the conductor is equal to the loss of kinetic energy by the magnet.
And a note of caution if you decide to try this, these magnets are not for unsupervised children. In fact, everyone should be careful:
Neodymium magnets larger than a half inch are very strong and should be handled with extreme care since they can be dangerous. It is best to stick with neodymium magnets of quarter inch diameter or less.
Want to know more? Look up Lenz’s Law and watch Veritasium’s Derek Muller demonstrate how this phenomenon is related to English scientist Michael Faraday and the first electric generator, created with a magnet and a coil of wire in 1831:
Physics! Another must-watch magnet-doing-magic-like-things-video comes from the Ri Channel: Levitating Superconductor on a Möbius strip.
Sound waves are vibrations of the air around us, which you can make just by clapping your hands or talking. Pitch is just the number of times the air vibrates per second. Higher frequency, higher pitch. Tesla coils are a combination of circuits that output thousands to millions of volts. That high electric field arcs up and out of the coil, filling the air with sparks and making it possible to light up fluorescent lights wirelessly. Certain types of Tesla coils, like the one used here, are putting out hundreds of sparks per second, with a rest between each spark. That’s already a lot like a sound wave. Each spark is pushing on the air and can create a sound. Change the frequency of the sparks and you get an equal frequency wave, hitting your ears like a note of music. The creators had to find a way to move seamlessly between frequencies to make the notes sound distinct, instead of just playing the whole scale.
Above, tesla coils “sing” the Inspector Gadget theme by ArcAttack, who were the first to use this technology in a live performance in late 2005. Watch more singing tesla coil videos at Know Your Meme. Related links: the tesla coil and Nikola Tesla, who invented it around 1891.
Watch former F1 driver Lucas di Grassi do donuts at CES 2014 in an electric formula race car. He’s driving the Spark-Renault SRT 01E. It can go 140mph and from 0 to 62mph in three seconds. From The Verge:
The Spark-Renault is the first and only Formula E car for now, but ten teams are onboard for the inaugural 2014 - 2015 season, and each will have their own cars. For the first season, each car will be the same, but the series is designed as an open competition, unlike Formula 1. That means manufacturers will be largely free to push the boundaries with new technologies. In the process they’ll hopefully invent tech that will make it to future street-legal electric cars. We hope it works — everyone knows we could use more efficient batteries. In the meantime, the first Formula E grand prix is set for this September in Beijing.
Watch the Spark-Renault test on a track: