Science and engineering nerds, and perhaps the general curious public, definitely know who Mark Rober is. This ex-NASA engineer has been cooking up fascinating experiments and uploading them online. Impressively, many of them rack up millions upon millions of views.
But we’re not here to talk about Rober. Actually, we’re here to talk about Stefano Rivellini, which Rober himself tipped us off to because of his fascinating experiment. As unbelievable as it sounds, this high school senior has successfully built a working drone that can soar through the sky without even using blades, at least not outright.
Instead, Rivellini threw in 90mm ducted fans and concealed them inside of bent carbon fiber tubes. The result? One of the safest drones ever built thus far. And the first bladeless drone ever, at that. The fifth leg, as you can see above, is a parachute can, although he hopes never to need it.
In itself, this kid’s project is already an amazing attempt to make drones as safe as possible, but imagine what this little experiment could lead to in the context of hoverbikes. Search for a hoverbike image on Google right now. It doesn’t matter what image you’ll see, because chances are it’ll look cool nonetheless. However, one look at the spinning blades and they suddenly aren’t that appealing anymore.
We’re exaggerating here, but perhaps Rivellini’s bladeless drone experiment could lead to industries coming up with more clever solutions on how to make hoverbikes safer by concealing their blades in some form or another. We’re a long, long way from that point, but as Rivellini proves, everything has to start somewhere.