Laser-Powered Helicopter? Yes Please!

Senior Contributor
09.07.10 2 Comments

OK, so it’s not going to be a flying gun platform, but what LaserMotive has pulled off is still pretty cool. Namely, rigging a toy helicopter to fly for hours powered by a laser.

It works like this; photovoltaic cells are designed to accept the wavelength of the laser and convert it from the red line we know and love to electricity. As long as the laser stays on target, the helicopter, or other UAV, keeps flying. How long? So far, until the motor burns out.

LaserMotive has been here before: they’re working on powering space elevators, and in fact won $900,000 from NASA for figuring out how to power a cable-climbing robot with…you guessed it…lasers. This is just another demonstration of the usefulness of their technology. Also demonstrating how robots will take over the Earth, but with technology this neat they deserve to. Video under the jump:

[ via New Scientist ]

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