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.
Concerned about your eyesight? You probably should be. And we’re not just talking about seniors here. Young or old, we’re all at risk of coming down with vision issues Most of us might get a vision test only once every couple of years or so when we get a new pair of glasses – if […]
We love our smartphones and tablets, but we also love to write. For a while now, there hasn’t been a workable solution. Either hook it up to a keyboard (which defeats the purpose of a portable gadget) or resign ourselves to typing on tiny, unresponsive glass icons. Looks like technology has finally caught up to […]
So you’ve got an iPhone 11 Pro Max. It’s an impressive piece of hardware – sometimes, too impressive. The more you’re compelled to use it, the more an age-old problem pops up: The dreaded low battery warning. Even if you’re on the go, perhaps the best solution to this is also pretty unobtrusive. It’s the […]