A 72-rotor flying machine is the most terrifying way to commute to work ever

Swedish engineer Axel Borg’s homemade electric multirotor sounds like the world’s angriest swarm of bees when it flies and that may be the least terrifying thing about it. Built over the course of two years with a budget of $10,000, Borg’s flying chair — supported by four circular rotor-mounts, with a total of 72 rotors — is like the world’s best and worst quadcopter at the same time. A lot of drones claim to put the pilot in the driver’s seat, with the help of point-of-view cameras. Borg’s creation delivers with no cameras required.

“I have great respect for the physical forces present, and I do get a little scared sometimes,” he told Digital Trends. “However, the system is divided into five completely separated sub-assemblies and I believe it is pretty unlikely that all of them will go wrong. The possible exception, as always, is pilot stupidity, which is my main concern at the moment. I really doubt my judgment from time to time. I think it’s related to constant undersleeping, being a father of two small kids.”

Given those life circumstances, it’s downright amazing that Borg has managed to achieve a project of this magnitude — especially since he also finds time to spend with his wife and hold down a full-time job.

axel borg flying machine update first assembly1

“All of that is great, but the drawback is that I have a very hectic calendar, and there’s not much free time for daydreaming and being creative,” he continued. “Doing this build, and enjoying the end result of it, gives me the opportunity to feel free in short bursts.”

We previously wrote about Borg’s project back when it was just a flying chair, prior to the addition of its eye-catching circular rotor-mounts. Next up, he says that he wants to further fine-tune the controls while getting more flight practice along the way. Don’t expect a Kickstarter campaign anytime soon, though.

“I do not have any commercial plans for this project,” he said. “It’s just about enjoying life. If there comes a new battery generation with, say, at least double the capacity compared to the current lithium technology these vehicles will start becoming interesting in more serious applications. But for now, it’s all just for fun.”

You can check out Borg’s “amazingDIYprojects” YouTube channel here.

Photography

Oppo Reno 10x Zoom vs. Huawei P30 Pro camera shootout: Zooming in on the action

When Huawei introduced its zoom lens on the P30 Pro, it opened up a whole new world of photographic opportunity on a smartphone. Now, Oppo's challenging it with the Reno 10x Zoom, so we've found out which is best.
Movies & TV

This week's best new podcasts include American Hysteria, The Big One, and more

Feel like you’re drowning in podcasts? In this weekly series, we’ll help you pick out the best of the new and returning shows. This week’s picks include urban legends, earthquakes, Andy Richter's questions, and tech history.
Movies & TV

Here are the best shows on Netflix right now (July 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Product Review

The Sony Xperia 1’s cinematic 4K screen is fantastic. The rest? Not so much

Sony’s Xperia 1 smartphone is svelte, tall, modern, and powerful. The 21:9 aspect ratio means you get a cinematic viewing experience. It’s too bad there are several other shortcomings, such as a lackluster camera.
Emerging Tech

Like the real thing, this robot ant colony is more than the sum of its parts

Researchers have built a robot ant colony, consisting of tiny 10-gram robots which are able to communicate with one another, assign roles among themselves, and work together to complete tasks.
Emerging Tech

Watch live: Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins reflect on the moon landing

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the famous Apollo 11 mission, NASA will hold a live broadcast featuring a retrospective and presentations by the astronauts involved. You can watch the event live on July 16 at 6:15 a.m. PT.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX finally knows what caused its Crew Dragon capsule to explode

SpaceX and NASA say they finally know what caused its Crew Dragon capsule to explode during an April test of the spacecraft’s thruster system. It's now unlikely that the capsule will be used for crewed spaceflight before the end of the…
Emerging Tech

This compact drone gun can down a rogue quadcopter at 500 meters

The latest drone gun from DroneShield is its most compact yet and can be easily operated with one hand. The DroneGun MkIII can tackle rogue drones up to 500 meters away, using jamming technology to take control of the machine.
Emerging Tech

Space food: Humble chili pepper to become first fruit grown in space

The Española chili pepper could become the first fruiting plant to be grown and harvested in space. If successful, it will expand the range of foods able to be used for future, more ambitious missions to planets such as Mars.
Emerging Tech

Photorealistic A.I. tool can fill in gaps in images, including faces

Researchers have developed a smart new A.I. system which can accurately fill in blank areas in an image, whether that’s a missing face or the front of a building. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

See how a life-sized astronaut was built from LEGO bricks

LEGO has unveiled a life-sized model of an astronaut constructed entirely from bricks, as well as a time lapse video of the model being built. It is based on the suit Neil Armstrong wore when he made his historic small step.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Twitter’s redesign, Libra’s possible delay, Neuralink

On this episode of DT Live, we take a look at the biggest trending stories in tech, including a Twitter redesign, Facebook's delay of Libra, Neuralink's first public event, growing food in space, and the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11.
Emerging Tech

Elon Musk’s Neuralink wants to start operating on human brains next year

Elon Musk shed more light on his Neuralink company on Tuesday, revealing new technology for brain surgery that would allow people with paralysis to use thoughts to control smartphones and computers. But that wasn't all ...
Emerging Tech

It sounds like utter madness, but you can now buy a flamethrower drone

The TF-19 WASP Flamethrower Drone is a quadcopter attachment for drones which, according to its creators, 'allows users to ignite aerial and ground targets from miles away.' What could go wrong?