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Friday, January 08, 2016

Chinese drone maker unveils human-carrying drone

Chinese drone maker Ehang Inc. on Wednesday unveiled what it calls the world's first drone capable of carrying a human passenger.

The Guangzhou, China-based company pulled the cloth off the Ehang 184 at the Las Vegas Convention Center during the CES gadget show. In a company video showing it flying, it looks like a small helicopter but with four doubledpropellers spinning parallel to the ground like other drones.

The electric-powered drone can be fully charged in two hours, carry up to 220 pounds and fly for 23 minutes at sea level, according to Ehang. The cabin fits one person and a small backpack and even has air conditioning and a reading light. With propellers folded up, it's designed to fit in a single parking spot.

After setting a flight plan, passengers only need to give two commands, "take off" and "land," each controlled by a single click on a Microsoft Surface tablet, the company said.

It is designed to fly about 1,000 to 1,650 feet off the ground with a maximum altitude of 11,500 feet and top speed of 63 miles per hour.

U.S. authorities are just starting to lay out guidelines for drone use, and a human-passenger drone seems certain to face strict scrutiny.



Anonymous said...

I think it is a great idea but would you ever feel safe in an automated flying device that is made in China ?

Anonymous said...

No less safe than in an automobile built by a union autoworker.

Anonymous said...

if idiots fly these like they drive, there will be mid air collisions every 23 minutes

Anonymous said...

Yes because there will be millions of them flying around.

Anonymous said...

Aren't there regulations for ultra-lite aircraft now? I'm certain that these drones aren't much different and would require little, if any, changes in current regs.