Android Gives You Wings

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Posted by on the 21st March 2012

Keenly aware that April Fool’s Day is looming large on the horizon, this story strikes as if it may have been released a little early, but if there’s any chance that such Android-based awesomeness is real, it just has to be covered…

Realising not only his own dreams but those of his grandfather and someone called Da Vinci (didn’t he have a code?) too, man-bird flight obsessive and clearly vaguely deranged Dutch engineer, Jarno Smeets, has successfully taken to the air, racking up a full minute of flight powered by a unique combination of man, motor and Android.

Using wings of his own design made from a kite and carbon windsurfing masts, all Jarno has to do is flap his arms like an air-going lunatic and before long he’s kissing the sky… and possibly flirting dangerously with the ground too. But here’s the very clever bit: the movement from his arms is picked up by Wii controllers in his hands which, in turn, use Bluetooth to send signals to Jarno’s Android phone which then sends instructions to a pair of electronic motors to flap the wings with enough vigour to make Jarno a flying Dutchman. Ahem.

The second test flight last Sunday (March 18th) took place at a park in The Hague and saw Jarno and his Human Bird Wings cover some 100m before, perhaps as surprisingly as the flight itself, he landed safely, making Jarno the first man in history to achieve such a feat and raising the bar considerably for all other Android developers!

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