Hoax or breakthrough? Flyboard Air videos stun the Internet

In case you missed it, the video of the Flyboard Air is burning up the Internet, and with good reason. We’ve seen numerous attempts to create a real-life hoverboard but in one fell swoop, the folks that brought us those crazy riding waterspout things have come up with the Flyboard Air, and it’s just awesome beyond words. Jet packs? Cool, but truthfully, unrealistic.

The Flyboard Air is the real hoverboard of our dreams, with a 90 mile an hour top speed, what appears to be no real altitude restrictions, long flight times, and damn, it looks plain easy to fly. It appears to use essentially the same super-stable controller system as the water-based Flyboards, but uses a small jet turbine or turbines for thrust.

Some people are saying the video is a hoax, but maker Zapata Racing says the Air has been in development for some time and has released several videos of it in action, so they’ve either got it sorted out, or that one video is the best cell phone hoax video ever. We see no limit to the future of a device like the Flyboard air, including racing leagues, search and rescue, military applications and of course, the best way to get to just about anywhere.

The Flyboard Air is still a prototype at this point, but judging from the size, performance and what appears to be general simplicity of it, we’ll bet that when it comes to market, it might even be halfway affordable. Bravo, guys, we can’t wait to take a ride.

Facebook’s A.I. efforts are well known and they’ve now added a key player that will help them with that, and other high-tech projects.

Regina Dugan, both the former head of military skunkworks DARPA and a high-ranking Googler, is joining team Zuckerberg to spearhead R&D on what Forbes calls “ambitious” and “breakthrough” projects. Dugan will be working out of the somewhat sinister-sounding Building 8 at Facebook, which we can only imagine contains alien autopsy facilities and top-secret grey hoodie replicators.

At Google, Dugan was part of the modular cell phone project, 3D mapping devices and smart tech projects. She called her new post at Facebook “compelling” and said her projects will include “tech infused with a sense of our humanity.”

The movie Eye in the Sky, out in theaters right now, has some pretty cool drone-tech special effects, and now, it looks like those kinds of ideas aren’t very far-fetched at all. One cool bit was a drone hummingbird, but a little high-def camera-packing flyin’ beetle really takes the cake. Crazy, right? Not if you’re a researcher at UC Berkely. They’ve glued some tech to the backs of some little flying nightmares, and now they can control how and where they fly.

Truth be told, this isn’t the first time they’ve done this. They figured out how to fly rhinoceros beetles around a while back, but this time, they have an even great level of control over the critter’s movements. The researchers call insects “nature’s ready-made robot platforms” and we can’t wait until things get completely out of hand.

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