The Future Is Now: 3D Printed Robot Rides Hoverbike

By Joelle Renstrom | Updated

This article is more than 2 years old

hoverbikeAs much as I love my current bike, I’ll admit to having fantasies about hoverbikes, particularly in Boston traffic. Last year, we previewed the Aerofex Aero-X hovercraft, which is slated for a 2017 release (and requires a $5,000 deposit if you’re looking to line-up a gift or two for you or someone else three years down the line). For a while it seemed that Aero-X represented the hopes and dreams of hoverbike enthusiasts everywhere, but it appears the market is big enough for two competitors. Malloy Aeronautics is developing a Hoverbike quadcopter, which they describe as a cross between a helicopter and a motorcycle, and as a “revolution in aviation.”

Malloy has built a scale model that’s 1/3rd the size of what would eventually be a full-sized hoverbike. This model allows them to prove the functionality of the quad-copter concept, and it makes for a pretty awesome Kickstarter video, especially when it’s piloted by a 3D-printed robot whose face is a GoPro camera.

The proto-hoverbike can also deliver pizzas and glasses of orange juice, and provide a means for teddy bears to go skydiving. It handles like a helicopter, and while a person (or robot) can pilot this contraption, it can also fly unmanned. You can also fold it for easy transport and storage.

The video, and Malloy’s mission, have attracted both attention and funding—the Kickstarter has raised almost twice as much as its $50,000 goal, which it will use to manufacture the 1/3rd size Hoverbike and develop a full-size one. It’ll take a pledge of nearly $1,000 to get a stripped-down version of the smaller bike, and a pledge of close to $1,200 to get a real, ready to fly model. What a deal.

busterBut what about the robot pilot, whose name happens to be Buster? I mean, the hoverbike is awesome and all, but where can we get our own Buster? A mere $5 pledge will get supporters a 3D-printable CAD model of the cyborg. Buster is about 1/3rd the size of your average human, so it fits on the hovercraft perfectly. With Buster piloting the bike, Malloy’s Kickstarter video looks like a vision of the future, or maybe the next installment of Star Wars.