There's no denying the speeder bikes we saw in Star Wars were absolutely amazing. To this day we still hope that we'll get a chance to ride something so impressive, but it may not be as far-fetched as we once thought. Aerofex has revived a 1960s hoverbike project and the vehicle's innovative controls could someday allow anyone the chance to fly it, without special training.
The design was originally abandoned because of stability rollover problems, but Aerofex took a stab at it and fixed the problem by creating a new knee-level control system that helps the vehicle respond to the pilot's natural sense of balance and corrections.
"It essentially captures the translations between the two in three axis (pitch, roll and yaw), and activates the aerodynamic controls required to counter the movement — which lines the vehicle back up with the pilot," De Roche told InnovationNewsDaily. "Since [the pilot's] balancing movements are instinctive and constant, it plays out quite effortlessly to him."
While the vehicle is no doubt cool, Aerofex does not plan on creating and selling consumer versions. Instead, the company wants to focus on using the hoverbike as starting point for unmanned drones that could aide in agricultural and military operations, delivering supplies in rough terrain.
However, Aerofex has been doing human test flights and currently has the futuristic hoverbike running at 15 feet high and up to 30 miles per hour. While it may not be as efficient as a standard helicopter, the vehicle has proven it can handle close quarters much better, being able to fly “within trees, close to walls and under bridges."
Aerofex apparently has plans to fly a second, human-piloted vehicle later this year and an unmanned drone version by the end of 2013. You can see the Aerofex hoverbike action by watching the video below and head over to InnovationNewsDaily for the full report!