3D Robotics

"SmartInversion", a new way of flying from Festo

Not quite sure what the advantages are, but it's certainly innovative. From the Festo description:


Flying by turning inside-out
SmartInversion is a helium-filled flying object that moves through the air by turning inside-out. This constant, rhythmically pulsating movement is known as inversion and gives the flight model its name. With the intelligent combination of extreme lightweight construction, electric drive units and control and regulation technology, inversion kinematics can be indefinitely maintained to produce motion through the air.


Inversion kinematics:
inspiration for new drive concepts
The shape of this flying object is based on the geometrical band devised by Paul Schatz: its middle section, in the form of an articulated ring of six members, detaches itself from a cube and constantly turns inside-out, taking on different geometrical shapes in the process. 


With the geometrical band Schatz discovered that the principle of kinematics, which until then had been based on rotation and translation (linear motion), could be extended by a further mode: inversion. With SmartInversion, the engineers and designers are now investigating where and how geometrical inversion can be put to use in technology.

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones


  • The SmartInversion is what you get when you ask an exceptional mathematician to design a UAV.  That is the coolest darn Schatz cube I have ever seen!  Shame Paul Schatz isn't still around to see this wonderful creation.

    Makes you wonder though...  What other opportunities exist to innovate in this manner? I reckon the work of Arthur Harold Stone and his friends at the Princeton Flexagon Committee (Bryant TuckermanRichard Feynman and John Tukey) has equal, if not more, value as a source of inspiration.

    There is so much you can do with a Hexaflexagon.  Victoria Hart is a bit of an expert on these things, and can tell you all about them.

    Basic Concept and Construction

    Engineering, Modular Frame Options, Build Manual, Transport Solutions

    Flexagation Safety, Maintenance and Advanced Construction Guide

  • Don't anybody sneeze!

  • Sure looks neat.  I don't get the point but... it looks like an aerial jellyfish.

  • http://gearfactor.com.hk -this is the company that actually build these machines. This transparent material is called heptax and its very hard to get (in europe, don't know about US), although I have the contact to great alternative. They also make incredible flying stuff out of depron, like cars caterpillars or airplane mockups for advertising. 

  • MR60

    It is beautiful to watch. Almost looks like a jelly fish.

    Anyway this proves it is dangerous to smoke pot when you are an artist designing UAVs;-) 

  • Moderator

    I can't work out how it turns

This reply was deleted.