Floating link chain with inversion drive

As part of our future concepts, we are constantly on the lookout for new or not-yet-widespread motion and drive concepts. With SmartInversion, our developers have succeeded in creating an ultralight flying object that moves by folding itself inside out. The endless, rhythmically pulsating folding movement is called inversion and gives the model its name.

The shape of the flying object is derived from the invertible cube by Paul Schatz . He broke down a cube into two star-shaped elements at the corners and a cuboid belt in the middle. The belt is a six-jointed ring that breaks out of the two corner bodies, can be continually inverted and thus takes on different shapes.

Extremely lightweight construction for optimum flight characteristics

The flying cuboid belt consists of six identical prisms filled with helium. Each prism is made up of six carbon fibre rods, which form the tensioning frame for the outer membrane. A total of 2130 litres of helium provide the necessary buoyancy for the flying object, which weighs just 2334 grams. Three servo motors coordinated by an on-board unit serve as the drive. Depending on the phase, two of the motors run forward, while the third coasts along, moving in the opposite direction.

The intelligent combination of extremely lightweight construction, electric drives and control and regulation technology makes continuous inversion in the air possible. During the flight, software continuously collects data such as battery charge or power consumption and checks it in real time. For us as a company, the principle of continuous diagnostics is also a guarantee of process reliability in automation technology.

Third form of motion as inspiration for new drive concepts

With the cube, Schatz discovered that the theory of transmission that had previously been based on rotation (rotational movement) and translation (linear movement) could be extended with one element: inversion. Paul Schatz’s ideas are already being used in industry – for example, in internal mixers or for aerating and circulating stagnant water.