03 Oct '11, 3am

US laboratory develops miniature 'flying carpet'

(THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A miniature 'magic carpet' made of flexible conductive plastic and driven by electrical current has taken flight in a US laboratory, researchers said. Researchers in Princeton University reported to in Applied Physics that the prototype 10cm sheet moved at speeds of about a centimetre per second. It is driven by 'ripple power'; waves of electrical current driving thin pockets of air from front to rear underneath. Improvements to the design could increase that to as much as 3 feet per second, researchers said. 'What was difficult was controlling the precise behaviour of the sheet as it deformed at high frequencies,' research leader James Sturm told the BBC. The authors of the published study have carefully kept the word 'flying' in quotation marks, since the device has more in common with a hovercraft than an airplane. 'It has to keep ...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/ANN/Story/STISto...

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