3D Printed Car Can Launch POV Drone

3D printed cars are getting more edgy and feature-packed all the time. (See my previous article on ). Local Motors, creator of 3D-printed cars like the Strati, teamed up with Mouser Electronics to sponsor the Essence of Autonomy Challenge.

(3D Printed Car with Drone video)

Competitors were to use the Strati as a starting point to create an autonomous vehicle, with engineer Grant Imahara as judge. The winning entry was Fly-Mode, an autonomous vehicle with a quad-rotor drone that can land on the vehicle's rear deck.

But the drone doesn't merely fly around scouting the landscape--or Los Angeles traffic, which Imahara fantasizes about in the video--as you drive. Its sensors transmit the drone's position in the air to a computer on board the vehicle. That data is sent to pneumatic levelers under the seats, giving occupants the feeling of flying along with the drone. The drone's cameras send high-definition panoramic images to the Fly-Mode's inflatable screen for further immersion in the flying simulation. Occupants of the car can control the drone with a wireless joystick and navigation screen in the center console.

Michael Crichton gave you the flavor (and preview of some of the technology) of this development in his excellent 1985 Runaway. Check out the in-dash view screen for the floater camera drone.

(In-dash video control screen)

Via PopSci.

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