Posts Tagged ‘Bipedal Ornithopter’

1923 – Walking Lunar Rover (Science Fiction) – Homer Eon Flint (American)

The vehicle in the book is described as being bee-like; when not flying, then walking.

During the 1920s and 1930s, the lunar rovers of science fiction were sometimes more humorous than scientific. Homer Eon Flint, in 1923, proposed in his novel "Out of the Moon"  what might be termed an ornithomorphic design.  It resembled a large, two-legged, bird like rover that walked across the Moon.  

Other related information:

In the book Devolutionist, space travelers experiment with Venusian methods of telepathic space travel. They leave our solar system to discover and explore the earthlike planet Capellette of the star Capella. In the Emancipatrix, they go to the planet Sanus of the star Arcturus. In both unique worlds, they become embroiled in the struggles and challenges of the inhabitants, and much more. This is Book Two of the Dr. Kinney adventures. (Summary by A.Gramour)

The above book cover shows the vehicle to be an ornithopter, but the landing gear (the legs) are not shown.

For a more recent walking ornithopter, see here.

Homer Eon Flint (1888 as Homer Eon Flindt – 1924) was a writer of pulp science fiction novels and stories. He began working as a scenarist for silent films (reportedly at his wife's insistence) in 1912. In 1918 he published "The Planeteer" in All-Story Weekly. His "Dr. Kinney" stories were reprinted by Ace Books in 1965, and with Austin Hall he co-wrote the novel The Blind Spot. Reportedly he died as a result of an involvement in a bank robbery attempt. According to his granddaughter the only witness, was himself a gangster.

See all the known Steam Men and early Walking Machines here.

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1990 – Bipedal Ornithopter – David Santos (American)

Bipedal Ornithopter in flight.



Bipedal Onithopter UAV By David Santos

It runs on two legs, flaps wings to take flight, and flys nimbly about the nooks and crannies of urban landscapes. Featured on the Discovery Channel's, Invention Series, ABC's Good Morning America, and Newsweek magazine.

The blimp is a 12-foot-long airship with running legs and insect like wings. This project was one of several developed by David Santos designed to demonstrate far fetched concepts. Others he developed were a boat that sails directly into the wind, a rain powered vehicle, the ProtoAndroid, and flying spheres.

Want to build a micro-blimp? Instructions on fabricating envelopes are [were?] available from David Santos via The Robot Group.

Intellectual property statement- Patents Pending. Designs protected by copyright. Noncommercial personal and educational use encouraged.

Good Morning America featured Santos' flying sculpture, Bipedal Ornithopter, a robotic flying machine that runs on two legs and takes off with flapping wings, at the Omni Hotel atrium, summer of '93.

For another Bipedal Ornithopter, without the balloon, see the video below:

BOLT, the Bipedal Ornithopter for Locomotion Transitioning, is a lightweight bipedal ornithopter designed for high-speed dynamic running and transitioning between aerial and terrestrial locomotion modes. The advantages provided by wings in terrestrial locomotion, coupled with aerial capabilities, allow navigating complex three dimensional environments. The robot is fitted with a 6-axis IMU for studying the gait dynamics of both quasi-static and dynamic locomotion modes. The aerodynamic forces of the flapping wings impart passive stability to the robot, enabling bipedal running with a single actuator–a critical feature given the weight constraints on a flying platform. BOLT can transition from running to aerial hovering in as little as one meter of runway.

See other Pneumatic, Fluidic, and Inflatable robots here.