LAS VEGAS (AP) — Chinese drone maker Ehang Inc. on Wednesday unveiled what it calls the world's first drone capable of carrying a human passenger.
The Guangzhou, China-based company pulled the cloth off the Ehang 184 at the Las Vegas Convention Center during the CES gadget show. In a company video showing it flying, it looks like a small helicopter but with four doubled propellers spinning parallel to the ground like other drones.
The electric-powered drone can be fully charged in two hours, carry up to 220 pounds and fly for 23 minutes at sea level, according to Ehang. The cabin fits one person and a small backpack and even has air conditioning and a reading light. With propellers folded up, it's designed to fit in a single parking spot.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-3387777/Chinese-drone-maker-unveils-human-carrying-drone.html#ixzz3wVeW1ce9
I wonder if it uses PixHawk? Comments?
Also revolutionary system of nav lights with red front and green rear.
@Thomas_Butler I would challenge the statement you made:
"There is a reason the DJI system is successful. It is a closed system with only a few cooks in the kitchen and whose feature set is driven by the market not by the whims of software developers."
DJI sells consumer products that, when put to rigorous flight testing, fail "six ways to Sunday". The open-source projects with the whimsical software developers are way more advanced in their ability and safety. Companies like DJI stand on the shoulders of all those DIY/Open-Source projects, and to my knowledge, the only application they really solve well is the flying camera. There's an entire ecosystem of UAV usage that DJI will never address, they make consumer products, not professional UAV systems. Think Commodore64 when you say DJI, that's in alignment with your UAV to computer analogies. Heck, we still haven't seen the equivalent of SGI, Sun or Apollo in the UAV technology space. Plenty more problems to solve that will shuffle the "drone" landscape".
@Thomas, I was not implying it wouldn't have computer control. That's obvious. You can't even fly a hobby drone without a computer, it's impossible for a human being to manage the control system required for multi-rotor craft. I was just questioning the notion that the same technology in the 787 could be used without exploding the cost beyond any grasp of the average person. The economics of scale for a 787 allows for such an expensive system, but not a single-seat aircraft like this.
@Darius, but the entire point of this craft is to be 'manned'. Wait until the testing for a manned system starts, and then see what happens. That's when the regulations explode.
The real sad part of this is that it takes a Chinese company to actually try something like this where they are outside of the grasp of the bureaucrats. Would the FAA even allow such a craft to be tested in the US? Probably not, or at least not without a mass of red tape and associate costs that make it impossible to actually bring something like this to market."
EHang184 can be tested in US as unmammed commercial drone, remotely controlled,
since pilot is not required and passenger can be replaced by passenger payload (human manikin or humanoid, robot).
I would like to join Ehang Team developing high precision landing technology (challenge by Rinspeed Etos, Ford Truck, DJI).
@Thomas Butler, so assuming your statement is true, how much would it cost to integrate the 787 flight control system into this drone? Is it 'open source'? Or would it be licensed from Boeing for a couple hundred million?
Seems like it would explode the price to the point where it would become economically unfeasible and would kill the project - something the FAA is very good at doing.
I remember reading Popular Mechanics and other futuristic publications when I was a kid, where all kinds of cool flying machines showed up, but none of them ever came to fruition, mainly because of all the regulations imposed by the government. All of these ideas eventually get squashed because of the mass of regulatory requirements that make such innovations completely out of the reach of the average citizens because of the enormous cost associated with compliance -- and all thanks to corrupt lawyers and politicians. Just think of what would have happened to the Wright Brothers if they had to get FAA approval for their flying kite? How many people died in those days trying to advance aviation flying those 'dangerous' contraptions? They were risk-takers, this society is not. That kind of risk is not allowed now because we have become so sanitized in our culture and overrun with lawyers, suing at the drop of a hat, no such innovation is allowed to take place. Little children can't even play in a playground without some rubber mat being placed under the equipment because we are so afraid 'somebody might get hurt', and a rack of lawyers come-a-running.
The real sad part of this is that it takes a Chinese company to actually try something like this where they are outside of the grasp of the bureaucrats. Would the FAA even allow such a craft to be tested in the US? Probably not, or at least not without a mass of red tape and associate costs that make it impossible to actually bring something like this to market.
Witespy has it for half price
I think it could be used as a get-away vehicle. Or an escape pod for corrupt politicians.
I don't think this is very impressive, just for the fact it's a marketing ploy for the rest of their drones, as I write here: http://www.dronethority.com/blog/2016/1/7/linked-ehang-unveils-dron... I can't see any actual real use for this. The premise of drones is the unmanned aspect.