Tuesday, 14 June 2011 21:30

Doubts, shmouts - great hope for hoverbike's reality


With the stability of Chris Malloy's Hoverbike in question and in its prototype form needing to be tethered for safety, perhaps the idea of transforming it into hoverquad instead is a better answer.

With the introduction of what looks like a tethered yet working test-hover of a new twin-fanned hoverbike, igniting dreams of the land speeders in Return of the Jedi, many across the world have reacted positively to the idea of a hoverbike in action.

However, as explained in detail in Ben Grubb's Sydney Morning Herald article on the hoverbike, its creator Chris Malloy still has a lot of work to do in perfecting the hoverbike, including the need to test the hovering and stability without protective tethering, with some doubt already expressed about the hoverbike's ability to fly

Mr Malloy also needs an investment of $1.1 million, with just $1800 in donations received thus far, with the million giving Mr Malloy the claimed ability to create 20 stable hoverbikes to sell at AUD $70,000 each. 

Clearly, Mr Malloy has a lot of ground he needs to cover before mass production can begin. He could cover more ground if he could hover, but if he could truly hover he wouldn't have so much ground to cover any more.

It's like a Catch 22-esque hover cover conundrum.

However, the attempt to bring the idea to life is certainly clever, even if it turns out to be simply a hoax, something that seems unlikely.

After all, the idea of a hoverbike has been around in sci-fi circles for a long time, and with the popularity of Parrot's AR Drone quadricopter, easily controllable by iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad devices, with Android controllability to come, why not make the hoverbike much safer and transform it into a hoverquad?

Ironically, quadbikes have proven to be quite dangerous methods of transportation, having a tendency to flip over if driven poorly.

Continued and concluded on page two, please read on!

However, with the programmed stability of the AR Drone easily visible when you start them up, you'd have to imagine hoverquads being much more appropriate and more powerful for the kind of more industrial uses that Mr Malloy envisages for his hover-creation, while being better for end-user consumers, too, if it ever gets to that stage.

So, while it is true that the future is already here, and it's just that it isn't widely distributed yet, sometimes that future is still in an early prototype stage with much work to go before commercialisation.

There's been a nicely positive worldwide reaction to the idea of a hoverbike, so let's hope that Mr Malloy - and other entrepreneurs - bring this idea and other new transportation systems to life.

The act of desire and creation blended in with ability and curiosity is an excellent demonstration of the one resource that Earth has in unlimited supply, and the one that finds solutions, new methods and new ways when once previously far-off limits start getting reached: the unlimited resource between all of our ears.

Good luck, Chris Malloy, may the force of smooth and stable hovering be with you!


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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