Human Birdwings getting closer to their dream of a semi human powered flying device

by Mark R

The Human Birdwings is an interesting project for building a semi human powered flying device, and it is making some good progress.

Using the accelerometers of a HTC Wildfire S and a Nintendo Wiimote, Jarnos Smeets, a mechanical engineer from the Netherlands, has created some wireless wings.

Smeets has studied how birds actually fly, and created a machine to best replicate the flapping of their wings. There is a video of it after the jump if you want to see his progress.

I am not really sure what the goal of Smeets’ project. Does he want to create a machine like the flying machines in Da Vinci’s sketchbook? If so, then I suppose he wants to build an ornithopter, an aircraft that can fly by flapping its wings.

If so, then I would imagine a craft where the pilot flaps his arms for control. I have a hard time envisioning what such a craft would look like, on the inside.

Yeah, I’m guessing that you will want to use an arm-controlled ornithopter for small flights only. Unless you really want to make that old joke a reality. The old joke is: “I just flew in from (insert distant city here), and boy, are my arms tired.”


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