Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Flying geometric jellyfish moves through the air by turning inside out

Image of flying shape

This helium-filled geometric kinetic sculpture is known as a Schatz cube and uses a process called inversion to propel itself through the air. The object is named for Paul Schatz (1898 - 1979), a German-born sculptor, inventor and mathematician.

This fine working model was created by the folks at Festo who dubbed it SmartInversion.

From the Festo web site:

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.

Like some kind of angular, contortionist jellyfish, its slow motion flight through through the air is mesmerizing. Researchers are searching for industrial applications for the inversion technique and held a contest that ended in December of 2012.

Here is Festo's page about SmartInversion – airborne geometrical band with inversion drive.

[ Thanks Christoph! ]

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