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June 17, 2017

Don’t try this at home — Swedish man builds a 72-rotor personal flying machine

by John_A

Why it matters to you

If all those other self-driving and self-flying vehicles don’t work out, personal multi-rotor flying machines are how we’ll all be commuting one day. Maybe.

Swedish engineer Axel Borg’s homemade electric multirotor sounds like the world’s angriest swarm of bees when it flies and that may be the least terrifying thing about it. Built over the course of two years with a budget of $10,000, Borg’s flying chair — supported by four circular rotor-mounts, with a total of 72 rotors — is like the world’s best and worst quadcopter at the same time. A lot of drones claim to put the pilot in the driver’s seat, with the help of point-of-view cameras. Borg’s creation delivers with no cameras required.

“I have great respect for the physical forces present, and I do get a little scared sometimes,” he told Digital Trends. “However, the system is divided into five completely separated sub-assemblies and I believe it is pretty unlikely that all of them will go wrong. The possible exception, as always, is pilot stupidity, which is my main concern at the moment. I really doubt my judgment from time to time. I think it’s related to constant undersleeping, being a father of two small kids.”

Given those life circumstances, it’s downright amazing that Borg has managed to achieve a project of this magnitude — especially since he also finds time to spend with his wife and hold down a full-time job.

“All of that is great, but the drawback is that I have a very hectic calendar, and there’s not much free time for daydreaming and being creative,” he continued. “Doing this build, and enjoying the end result of it, gives me the opportunity to feel free in short bursts.”

We previously wrote about Borg’s project back when it was just a flying chair, prior to the addition of its eye-catching circular rotor-mounts. Next up, he says that he wants to further fine-tune the controls while getting more flight practice along the way. Don’t expect a Kickstarter campaign anytime soon, though.

“I do not have any commercial plans for this project,” he said. “It’s just about enjoying life. If there comes a new battery generation with, say, at least double the capacity compared to the current lithium technology these vehicles will start becoming interesting in more serious applications. But for now, it’s all just for fun.”

You can check out Borg’s “amazingDIYprojects” YouTube channel here.

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