Cleo is a donut-shaped drone with a single propellor in the center, which steers by changing the airflow direction, so its blades are entirely contained – and can't be easily broken when the drone collides with something.
A IEEE notes:
It’s immediately obvious just how friendly this design is. It fits in a pocket without needing to be disassembled or folded, and there’s nothing externally fragile that you have to protect. It’s safe to hold, and so grabbable that you can snatch it right out of the air. Collisions with obstacles (including people) shouldn’t damage either the drone or whatever it runs into, and with all of the moving parts so well protected, it seems like it has to be much more durable than anything with exposed rotors.
As for me, though, when I saw it I had an instant acid flashback to ... the Avrocar.
Fans of Canadian aerospace arcana will be familiar with the Avrocar. It was the invention of Avro Canada, a Canadian aerospace firm that flourished in the 40s and 50s by producing aircraft for military and commercial use. In the late 50s they began working for the US military on a disk-shaped flying craft that would hover in the air by venting exhaust out the bottom and sides. But the engineers could never figure out how to make it stable enough to fly more than a few feet above the ground, so the project was cancelled in 1961, and Avro itself soon collapsed.
The Avrocar is a fave of UFO military-conspiracy theorists, as you might expect. You can see the craft in action in this video – it's thoroughly bonkers:
The distorted text was bad enough, but these grainy photos with slivers of this and that are getting ridiculous. I’m with the people who suspect it’s some kind of free labor mechanical turk AI bot training. And what of esoteric definitional matters like this:
In this paper, law professor Lynn Lopucki ponders the question: What happens if you turn over control of a corporate entity to an AI? Pretty terrible stuff. Odds are high you’d see them emerge first in criminal enterprises, as ways of setting up entities that engage in nefarious activities but cannot be meaningfully punished (in […]
Cathy “Weapons of Math Destruction” O’Neil nailed Trump’s tactics when she compared him to a busted machine-learning algorithm, throwing a ton of random ideas out, listening for his base to cheer the ones that excited their worst instincts, and then doubling down on them.
Weighted blankets are officially a thing. And if you’ve ever tried one, you know there’s a reason for the fuss. Parents have known for generations that swaddling a baby has a profound calming effect, and the gentle pressure that blanket weights provide can have the same effect on restless sleepers. Pretty much all parts of […]
Walk through any office, and you will likely spot a few bobbleheads. These wobbly figurines are great fun to have around, although most celebrate people we will never meet. For something a little more personal, try Handmade Custom Bobbleheads. These mini caricatures are sculpted and painted by skilled artisans, based on any photo you provide. […]
In the early days of the web, everyone wanted a .com domain for their site. As a result, all the good ones got snapped up. But .com no longer has the cachet it once did. In fact, many new businesses and individuals are opting for other top-level domain extensions. One of the most memorable is […]