This crazy hobbyist built a flyable 54-rotor personal helicopter from drone parts

There are few things in 2015 that have remained as regularly popular, immensely controversial, and just downright fascinating as drones. They’ve made headlines for delivering drugs into prison yards, interrupting the efforts of firefighters, and have even proven to be one of the few things that scare the scat out of black bears. Well as of this past week, a man living in the UK just boldly went where no drone operator had gone before, creating a 54-propeller super drone not only capable of sustaining ordinary flight, but sustaining flight with him on board. No joke!

In a video posted to YouTube, the man is seen taking off and landing his DIY contraption — called “The Swarm” — over and over again, displaying the drone’s apparent ease of control. Though he never seems to fly much higher than about ten or fifteen feet into the air, the fact that he created a rideable drone is incredibly impressive.

The man’s video explains the drone as containing “54 counter-rotation propellors [and] six grouped control channels with Hobbyking stabilization.” It also says the craft’s maximum takeoff weight checks in at around 148 kg (326 lbs) while also possessing the ability to sustain flight for roughly ten straight minutes.

We know exactly what you’re thinking. How can I get my hand on the schematics so I can build one myself? Sadly, the only bit of information regarding this incredible drone exists via two YouTube videos of the operator demonstrating its ability to hold him in flight, as well as the ability to fly autonomously (which obviously doesn’t look nearly as fun).

Though judging by what’s shown in the video, it appears that all you need to create one of these bad boys is a bit of engineering know-how, a few flight stabilizers, an ordinary lawn chair, and an incredible imagination. Oh, and perhaps some prior drone flying experience, because the last thing you want to do is end up like Enrique Iglesias.

 Amazon Adorama Best Buy

Emerging Tech

Inside the Ocean Cleanup’s ambitious plan to rid the ocean of plastic waste

In 2013, Boyan Slat crowdfunded $2.2 million to fund the Ocean Cleanup, a nonprofit organization that builds big, floating trash collectors and sets them out to sea, where they’re designed to autonomously gobble up garbage.
Deals

Need a new tablet? Here are the best iPad deals for April 2019

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for April 2018.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now (April 2019)

Amazon Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be a major undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Computing

These business machines can rival any consumer laptop in style and function

These laptops have the reliability, performance, and battery life you need whether you're at your desk or flying across the country for a meeting, letting you to revel in a function-first approach.
Emerging Tech

Troubleshooting Earth

It’s no secret that humans are killing the planet. Some say it’s actually so bad that we’re hurtling toward a sixth major extinction event -- one which we ourselves are causing. But can technology help us undo the damage we’ve…
Emerging Tech

Climeworks wants to clean the atmosphere with a fleet of truck-sized vacuums

Using machines that resemble jet engines, Climeworks wants to fight climate change by extracting CO2 from thin air. The gas can then be sold to carbonated drink and agriculture companies, or sequestered underground.
Emerging Tech

How 3D printing has changed the world of prosthetic limbs forever

When he was 13 years old, Christophe Debard had his leg amputated. Here in 2019, Debard's Print My Leg startup helps others to create 3D-printed prostheses. Welcome to a growing revolution!
Emerging Tech

Geoengineering is risky and unproven, but soon it might be necessary

Geoengineering is a field dedicated to purposely changing the world's climate using technology. Call it 'playing god' if you must; here's why its proponents believe it absolutely must happen.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Earth Day, indoor container farming, robot submarines

Today on Digital Trends Live, we discuss how technology intersects with Earth Day, a new Tim Cook biography, indoor container farming, robot spy submarines, A.I. death metal, and more.
Gaming

Google’s Stadia is the future of gaming, and that’s bad news for our planet

Google’s upcoming Stadia cloud gaming service, and its competitors, are ready to change the way gamers play, but in doing so they may kick off a new wave of data center growth – with unfortunate consequences for the environment.
Emerging Tech

Hawaiian botanists’ drone discovers a plant thought to be lost forever

In what may well be a world first, botanists in Hawaii recently used a drone to find a species of plant that scientists believed was extinct. The plant was located on a sheer cliff face nearly 20 years after its last sighting.
Emerging Tech

Alphabet’s Wing drones now have FAA approval to deliver packages in the U.S.

Alphabet Wing has become the first company to receive Air Carrier Certification from the FAA. This means that it can begin commercial deliveries from local businesses to homes in the U.S.
Emerging Tech

A battery-free pacemaker harvests and stores energy from heartbeats

Researchers in China and the United States have developed a new battery-free pacemaker which gathers its required electricity from the energy of heartbeats. Here's why that's so exciting.