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Hakima

The Concept
The Hakima is a light-sport, multi-rotor aircraft concept that would allow a new generation of pilots to safely experience flying at low speed and very low altitudes for 20 minutes at a time.

The Background
The idea for the Hakima hoverbike came from the FlytCycle prototype created by Ansel Misfeldt of Flyt Aerospace. Many inventors like Ansel are currently on working electric hoverbikes, and these inventions could lead to a new type of flying powersport vehicles.
Ansel and his team have a whole database on motors / props / ESCs of varying sizes and have lots of experience with how these systems need to be designed. He helped us put some numbers on what would be required to make the Hakima fly.

How It Works
The Hakima is powered by 8 fans composed of two contra-rotating blades with a total diameter of 70 centimeters each. The Hakima’s 16 kw battery pack is composed of multiple cells, and it measures 20 cm x 20 cm x 75 cm in size.
The first goal is to keep the vehicle’s weight and payload to 60% of the maximum thrust available. In a coaxial configuration, the lower prop is ~20% less efficient than the top one, which means there is a small reduction in efficiency, and the props will also require quite a bit of excess thrust to stabilize themselves out of the ground effect.

The Hakimas’s 70-cm blades can only handle a maximum thrust of 57lbs before reaching their design limits. This means that with 16 props, the Hakima will generate 820lbs of maximum thrust with its coaxial blades.

820 lbs max thrust at 60% max load equals a maximum useful takeoff weight of 492 lb. If we assume the pilot weights a maximum of 180lbs, that leaves 312 lbs for the frame, controls, and batteries.

This might sound like a lot of weight to carry, but the airframe and motors will easily weigh 100lbs even if they are made of carbon fiber. The goal is to keep the total weight to 254 or below so the Hakima can qualify as an ultralight aircraft.

Being optimistic, we can assume it would be feasible to fit 150lbs of batteries on the Hakima. The best ‘off the shelf’ batteries we know for that weight are 16.2kW. You generally want to keep them from going below 20% charge or they degrade much faster, so that gives you approximately 13kW of useful energy.

The propellers at hover, assuming no ground effect and a 180-lb pilot, will need ~2.5kW directly. If we assume an 80% efficiency, which matches well with real world flight data, which translates to 3.1kW for each propeller, for a system total of 49.5kW.

So the 13kW of useful of energy will last approximately 16 minutes. This is the shortest time you would expect, as a lighter pilot would be able to fly for longer.

To control the roll, pitch, yaw, and altitude, the pilot will use controls similar to a helicopter: cyclic and collective. These controls will be linked to the smart flight module, which will adjust each propeller’s speed to create the desired effect. The Hakima could also be equipped with other features to modify the airflow; and these will depend on the many tests required to optimize the aircraft’s final configuration.

What It’s Used For
The Hakima would be used purely as a recreational aircraft. With its ability to fly anywhere at low speed and low altitude, this new kind of flying kart will make it possible to explore the backcountry and experience the joy of flight.

Special Thanks

Imaginactive created the Hakima concept in collaboration with the International Civil Aviation Organization to promote the 2018 NGAP Global Summit.

I would like to thank Ansel Misfeldt for sharing his knowledge and expertise with me. Ansel is currently working on building new prototypes similar to the Hakima and you can contact him at Flyt Aerospace to learn more about his plans.

I would also like to thank Martin Rico for creating the images of the Hakima concept. Martin studied Design at the University of Buenos Aires and now works as an Industrial Designer for the ICAO NGAP initiative.

Charles Bombardier

Ceros

The Concept

The Ceros is a concept for a new generation of aircraft envisioned to ferry material, equipment, and people between remote outposts of the northern Arctic countries. It would be designed to do short take-off and landing on rough and icy runways to access most villages and outposts based in Canada, Russia, Norway, Greenland, and Antarctica.

The Background

Last century, a series of aircraft were developed to fly material, people, and equipment in remote locations of the Canadian north, including the De Havilland Beaver and the Twin Otter. The Ceros concept aims to create a 21st century version of those legendary aircraft by proposing new engines, new system layouts, and new types of materials and technologies.

How It Works

The Ceros has two wings fixed to the mid part of its fuselage instead of completely on top or completely under the aircraft. The objective is to allow the aircraft to benefit from the ground effect while it’s flying over calm bodies of water. Placing the wing closer to the ground will help create an adequate cushion of air to glide on. Placing it a little higher than the belly will also reduce the risk of hitting objects on the ground.

The Ceros could benefit its turbofan engines mounted on top and at the front of its wings. This layout would generate a lot more lift than it would on a conventional aircraft and help reduce noise/decibels—a major asset for wildlife populations. The fuselage of the Ceros would be made of composite material to save weight, and other technologies should be integrated into the mix to simplify avionics, controls, and flying procedures.

What It’s Used For

With climate changes underway, a new era of development might take place in the North. The extended STOL capabilities of the CEROS make it a perfect candidate to supply outposts, villages and research base. The increase in useful load, engine efficiency, and performance will also translate into a lower shipping cost and a smaller ticket price for passengers traveling in these regions.

The Designer

I would like to thank Martin Rico for creating the images of the Ceros concept. Martin studied Design at the University of Buenos Aires and now works for the ICAO as an Industrial Designer for the NGAP programme.

Xubikoo

The Concept

The Xubikoo is an autonomous ‘lounge car’ that would combine the stunning looks of an exotic luxury car with the most intelligent artificial assistant in the world.

Origin of the Idea

Imagine if your next car were as comfortable as a limousine, as sexy as a luxury sedan, and smarter than any assistant because of its powerful AI that would continuously work to make your ride and your life more enjoyable. This is the idea behind the Xubikoo. It’s an evolution of our Perceptor concept that was posted in August 2017.

How It Works

The Xubikoo would feature an advanced observation system powered by artificial intelligence that would be programmed to enhance the passengers’ riding experience. It would study people’s behavior and talk to passengers in order to adapt its driving style (through route choice) and the inside mood (through music, lights, scents, and topics of discussion).

The Xubikoo’s AI would be able to read human emotions and connect with its owners by chatting with them, providing advice, and improving their commuting experience. As it developed its insight and anticipated emotions, the Xubikoo could monitor evolving situations and predict their outcome. It could even learn to remain quiet based on the situation. In short, it would learn and improve its interactions.

Its owner could also confide to the Xubikoo. The conversation would remain confidential and encrypted, and the AI would answer queries and stimulate the discussion to reduce stress in real time through interaction, music, various scents, and lighting.

The car’s AI would be able to monitor its passengers for any safety concerns (e.g. too much alcohol, drugs, or excessive fatigue) to alert emergency services in case a medical situation arose, and then it would provide all necessary information to the emergency department.

The car would feature large sliding doors, making it easy to enter and sit down in a compact but comfortable but lounge. A table would be hidden in the floor to provide more space when entering, and then it would deploy during transit to display holographic images for everyone to enjoy.

The Xubikoo’s lateral windows would double as screens to create a special immersive experience. Passengers could also use wireless VR headsets to plunge themselves into any kind of adventure. The Xubikoo would come equipped with a 500-mile (805 km) lithium-air battery pack and an inductive/wireless charging system.

Last but not least, if two passengers wanted to transform the Xubikoo into a “Night Car,” they could simply push a button that would lower the table and motorize the seats and back rest to create a queen-size bed. This bed would be cooled or heated, and noise-cancellation speakers embedded in the walls panels would greatly reduce outside noises.

Potential Market

The Xubikoo is a new combination of computer software and hardware for the automotive market. It could definitely change the industry by taking us beyond the autonomous car technologies in development today and pushing towards human-computer interaction. The Xubikoo’s main goal would be to reduce stress, prevent accidents, and boost passenger morale. BMU Labs in Montreal is currently developing a series in technology that forms a basic prototype. If you are interested, do not hesitate to contact its CEO, Yan Cyr.

The Designer

The Xubikoo concept was designed by Jorge Ciprian, an Industrial Designer from Argentina. Jorge graduated with a degree in design from the University of Buenos Aires, and he currently works as freelance designer. He also designed the Colombi, an autonomous neighborhood electric vehicle (NEV) designed for people using wheelchairs.

Onyx

The Concept

The Onyx is a side-by-side electric aircraft that can land directly in parking spaces built for cars, thus removing the need to build new infrastructure for the upcoming ‘breed’ of personal urban aircraft.

Background

Last month, a young engineer student named Charles Champagne contacted Imaginactive to help him design a new type of flying car. It had to be much different than our Solexa, Korben, or Horus.

How it Works

The Onyx would be able to carry two people sitting in a side-by-side configuration. Unlike the competition, it would be able to take off and land in existing parking spaces. For this reason, it would have a maximum width of 90 inches. This specification would make the Onyx much more accessible compared to similar projects that are forced to use helipads.

The Onyx would be powered by interchangeable battery packs providing electricity to six propulsion unit each containing two propellers; one at the bottom of the nacelle and one on top, rotating in opposite directions (contra-rotating props).

Each of those props would be composed of three blades with a special shape similar to Blue edge blades from Eurocopter. This particular blade design significantly reduces rotor noise and is quite efficient. In addition, the pairs of propellers on the port side of the Onyx would rotate symmetrically to the propellers on starboard thus canceling the induced torque.

When the Onyx is ready to embark passengers, the top portion of the cabin would open upward, much like a fighter cockpit. Passengers would hop in on either side of the aircraft like existing cars. For safety reasons, each flight would be managed by the autopilot. The air traffic control system would also be handled by an urban air traffic system. The Onyx would touchdown directly on parking spots using landing skids similar to helicopters.

Potential Market

By combining advances in the design of materials, mechanical components, battery technology, and flight systems, a whole new market of aerial vehicles can be developed. Operators and citizens will line up to acquire electric aircraft like the Onyx to move around the city and fly to their weekend destination. One important step is making sure legislators are preparing the necessary frameworks that will allow inventors and product development team to fly prototypes of these machines inside designated corridors.

The Designer

The Onyx concept was imagined by Charles Champagne, an engineering student living in Montreal. It was designed by Jorge Ciprian, an Industrial Designer from Argentina. Jorge graduated with a degree in design from the University of Buenos Aires, and he currently works as freelance designer. He also designed the Manitoo ecofriendly ATV and the Vector hydrofoil snowmobile.

Colombi

The Concept

The Colombi is a neighbourhood electric vehicle, or NEV, capable of moving people in wheelchairs anywhere within a city. It’s clean, quiet, comfortable, and would help improve the lives of millions of handicapped people around the world.

The Background

Last week, I was invited to speak during the International week in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. Before one of my conferences, I listened to an engineer named Fernando Guzman who presented a solar car concept designed to transport people in wheelchairs. He later approached me and asked if I could provide him with feedback for his project. The Colombi is my quick opinion on this particular idea. I modified some features and also asked Jorge Ciprian to create a new, improved design, since a picture is worth a thousand words!

How It Works

The Colombi is basically a small autonomous car. Developing a standard vehicle with a steering wheel would be simpler and more economical, but it would be difficult to drive for people with disabilities or with limited reflexes. Autonomous software and hardware are becoming cheaper every year. Open-source projects would also keep the cost down so, in my opinion, the Colombi should be designed as an autonomous transporter from the get go.

The integration of solar panels would cost a lot of money, make the vehicle heavier, and not provide much energy, so I would not include them in the first version of the Colombi. Of course, using an electric motor would be the best option, but right now the charging infrastructure is non-existent or highly limited in most cities of the world. Therefore, I would offer the vehicle with three power packs: electric, hybrid, and propane.

The main feature of the Colombi consists of being able to transport one person in a wheelchair, so the back door is a motorized ramp. That door could also be placed on the side of the vehicle depending on the client’s preference. Placing it in the rear, however, allows for a narrower vehicle.

Some roads are in really bad shape, so the Colombi should be designed to ride over them. I increased the ground clearance so it could ride over potholes and around road hazards on dirt roads. AC or heating systems would be offered as options. Opening and closing the side windows and the rear ramp/door would be voice activated.

The Market

The Colombi would be a better alternative than specialized vans since it would occupy less space on the road (footprint) and less parking space. It would also pollute less, be lighter on pavements, and cost less to operate—especially if you take into account the driver’s salary. The client would be protected from rain, wind, and heat or cold, and would have a lot more freedom to explore the city, go shopping, or commute to school or work without having to ask for help, which would have a significant social impact for disabled people.

Bombardier’s NEV (Neighbourhood electric vehicle) was a great idea when it was introduced in 1996, but sales never really picked up, mostly because legislation concerning NEV usage was not in place when those vehicles were offered for sale. Therefore, I think the first step before investing time and money would be to obtain support from a critical number of cities around the world. Letters of intention, lists of regulations the Colombi needs to meet in order to be road legal, etc Some countries have special classes for low-speed vehicles, and the Colombi would be in that category.

The Colombi is meant to address a niche for users in wheelchairs, but it could also be rented by people who have difficulty walking, just like a regular cab. I think cities could buy and rent them like the Bixi bicycles. This project could be an ‘open source’ initiative and it could be driven by a consortium of cities.

The Designer

The Colombi concept was designed by Jorge Ciprian, an Industrial Designer from Argentina. Jorge graduated with a degree in design from the University of Buenos Aires, and he currently works as a freelance designer. Amongst other concepts, he also designed the Manitoo eco-friendly ATV for imaginative and the Vector hydrofoil watercraft.

Kármán

The Concept

The Kármán is an ‘orbital class’ business jet aircraft concept capable of leaving the atmosphere to visit space stations and hotels in low-earth orbit.

Origin of the Idea

A few months ago, we published an orbital space plane concept with the goal of gathering comments to improve the idea through a series of open discussions. We got interesting feedback from Richard Dalbello at Virgin Galactic and Olivier Péraldi, one of our regular collaborators. Their comments helped us create a new simpler and bolder vision for this new aircraft.

How it Works

The Kármán’s fuselage comprises a front section consisting mainly of an electable passenger cabin and a rear section containing four rockets engines. The power output and wing surface of the Karman would allow it to take off from existing long airport runways and eliminate the need to finance, design, and build new, complicated, and expensive infrastructure to launch this new breed of orbital business aircraft.

On takeoff, the Kármán’s flight computer would light its four modular rocket engines to generate sufficient thrust to accelerate, take off, and climb high up in the atmosphere. If the destination is space, the aircraft would need to reach escape velocity while keeping its passengers comfortable despite the strong acceleration.

The aircraft would also need to be equipped with manoeuvring thrusters, life support systems, and a strong heat shield to reenter the atmosphere. These functionality and performance specs could be optional if the buyer decided to limit its flight to within the atmosphere, which would also allow more payload and a reduced cost.

To fly across the globe, the Kármán would perform parabolic flights, skirting the Kármán line located at an altitude of 100km (hence the name) and then descend toward its destination. The speed on these flights could be much slower than the 40,000km/h needed to escape into space. In case of emergency (at lower speeds) the Kármán could eject its passenger cabin, which would be equipped with a parachute.

Potential Market

The Kármán would be used by business and world leaders to reach space stations in low Earth orbit directly from existing airports. The atmospheric version could be designed to transport people and equipment quickly from one side of the globe to the other.

Special Thanks

I would like to thank Olivier Peraldi for collaborating with me on this concept. I would specifically like to thank Martin Rojtenberg, who created all the images of the Kármán concept. Martin lives near Buenos Aires, Argentina. He studied design at the University of Buenos Aires and now works as an independent industrial designer.

Alpino

The Concept

The Alpino is a recreational ice fishing snowmobile concept designed to take you to your favorite fishing spot and protect you from the elements while you fish. With its twin track and hybrid engine, the Alpino would be strong enough to pull additional pods to create a small fishing village.

Origin of the Idea

This idea was brought to me by Eli Perrett from Valentine, Nebraska. Eli grew up fishing on local lakes in Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming, so he’s interested in developing tracked vehicles designed and engineered for winter fishing. He proposed some interesting features, and Jorge Ciprian helped turn his vision into an exciting concept.

How It Works

The Alpino would be driven by two tracks in back and steerable skis in front, similar to the Ski-Doo Elite snowmobile. It would have an insulated and heated enclosed cabin inspired by the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X helicopter.

This snowmobile would have a top speed 50mph. Its cabin could be made of a light composite material and it would weigh around 1000 pounds depending on the size and type of the engine used. A propane heater and heat exchanger would help the pilot/fisherman stay warm inside while driving to his favourite fishing spots.

The Alpino’s cabin would feature a rubber sprocket mechanism that would allow the cab to sit down flat on the ice when the vehicle is in “fishing mode.” The driver’s seat would slide backwards to reveal a small hatch door in the floor to drill a hole through the ice and fish.

The Alpino would be available in a single seat and side-by-side configuration. It would come equipped with a hitch to pull other Alpino pods (or a trailer mounted on skis). Each Pod would be no longer than 8 feet and would weigh less than 400 pounds so you would be able to park them side-by-side and fit multiple units on a flatbed trailer.

Potential Market

The Alpino would target the market of every ice fisherman in USA, Canada, Russia, and Northern European countries like Finland. Ski resorts and hotels could also rent them out to their guests. The Alpino platform could also be developed as sightseeing model that could carry four people or more. Other models equipped with ATV wheels and tracks could address the market of hunters and cross-country explorers.

The Designer

The Alpino concept was designed by Jorge Ciprian, an Industrial Designer from Argentina. Jorge graduated with a degree in design from the University of Buenos Aires, and he currently works as freelance designer. He also designed the ecofriendly Manitoo ATV and the Vector personnal watercraft / hydrofoil concept.

AeroStraße

The Project

The AeroStraße is a powered VR flight simulator that will provide a number of realistic flight experiences. It would be conceived to help inventors, industrial designers, and engineers develop on innovative flying machine concepts. The AeroStraße could be tested by citizens living in metropolis of the world. It combines mechatronics, virtual reality, and machine learning to analyze the behaviour and reaction of riders during each session.

Objective

The AeroStraße will be used to measure consumer interest in flying machine concepts and introduce new projects related to urban aeronautics. It will also be used to demonstrate new types of flight technologies and and also entertain participants in exhibitions.

Equipment, Data and First step

The equipment required to assemble the first AeroStraße prototype includes an electric actuator base, frame and body parts of the Horus hover bike, two virtual reality headsets, a computer and a custom-built machine learning software.

Data collected during each session will be analyzed by a post-processing software to determine consumers’ level of interest based on their experience on the simulator. Eye tracking technology will be used to highlight favourite features. This data will enable development teams to improve products or concepts during the ideation phase of product development.

The first step of the project consists in creating a functional prototype of the AeroStraße and adapt to fly in a virtual reality based on existing cities (Ex : Tokyo, New-York, Paris, Montreal). 3D models and scenes will be adapted for this experience. When the prototype is ready, a scientific experiment will be organized using qualified participants. For more information about this project please contact Imaginactive.

Designer

I would like to thank Martin Rico for creating the images of the AeroStraße project. Martin lives near Buenos Aires, Argentina. He studied Design at the University of Buenos Aires and now works as a Freelance Industrial Designer. Martin also designed the Aerozon concept for Imaginactive and the Oroscope.

Manitoo

The Concept

The Manitoo is an eco-friendly four-wheel drive ATV concept that eliminates carbon while it’s running. It can also adapt its tire width and air pressure to minimize its impact on fauna and flora.

The Background

Last year, I worked on a powersport vehicle concept designed to minimize soil erosion. What if futuristic ATV’s were designed and engineered to replenish life and reduce carbon monoxide? This is what the Manitoo concept aims to accomplish.

How It Works

The Manitoo would be powered by a compact but powerful 250cc two-stroke combustion engine that would burn hydrogen instead of gasoline. The hydrogen tanks would be located under the pilot’s seat and would be quick and easy to change. (They are the yellow cylinders on the Manitoo’s images.) The powerpack could also be electric if desired.

One of the most interesting parts about the Manitoo would be its capacity to promote new life every time you take it out for a spin. This would be achieved by linking each Manitoo to a non-profit organization like One Tree Planted. Each time you hop on your Manitoo, the organization would automatically receive an order to plant trees.

The communication/transaction would be done by linking the Manitoo to your home wi-fi. When you come back from your ride, the Manitoo would report the exact amount of logged hours and mileage and adjust your ‘ecoride’ balance. Planting a tree costs exactly $1, so users could decide how many of them they want to plant through the app.

Furthermore, the Manitoo would be able to expand its tire width to reduce the surface pressure on the ground, modify energy consumption, and even reduce noise levels. The tires’ internal air pressure could also be modified in each wheel depending on the surface that needs to be crossed or the speed at which the driver is travelling. The goal is to optimize the wheel’s characteristics (width, diameter, internal pressure) for the trail conditions. The Manitoo could therefore cross various soil densities and sensitive areas while reducing its impact to a minimum.

Potential Market

The Manitoo proposes multiple types of technologies to minimize the impact of recreational vehicles on our planet and even generate a positive return on it. Some of the ideas proposed here will take time and capital to develop, while others are easy to implement.

The most important question, however, is the level of consumer interest. Do they understand, need or want products and innovations like these? Are they willing to pay the extra money for the new service? That is the purpose of the Manitoo concept and article. I hope it will generate some interest, so don’t hesitate to contact us if it inspires you.

The Designer

The Manitoo concept was designed by Jorge Ciprian, an Industrial Designer from Argentina. Jorge graduated with a degree in design from the University of Buenos Aires, and he currently works as freelance designer. He also designed the Phantor surveillance robot and the Exoski snowmobile for Imaginactive.

Oroscope

The Concept

The Oroscope is a concept for an application that would automatically generate a live ‘Horoscope’ by using science and data to predict how your day is going to unfold. It would use a machine learning software and existing data points to predict test scores, health, mood, encounters, and many other things that can make or break your day. 

Origin of the Idea

As you probably know, there is a tremendous amount of data available on our computers, tablets, cell phones, and social media pages. The data from our credit cards is tracked, our cars are monitored in various ways, our cell phones are equipped with cameras, microphones, and GPS, our health records are computerized, etc. What if all those bits of information could be crunched to create science-based predictions? That’s the idea behind the Oroscope concept.

How It Works

The Oroscope software would read your agenda, notes, e-mail, and all your private information (online and offline). It would know lots of little things about you similar to what Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Mastercard, Netflix, Amazon and other tech giants that you do business with daily know about you. All that data, which is already available, would be used to predict what is likely to happen during your day, your month, and even years into the future.

The Oroscope app would access public information like weather predictions, traffic data, stock markets, and news. It would be able to read your emotions using facial recognition and body metrics, so it would be able to determine if you are happy or not, and if people around you (or living with you) are happy or not. This means it could predict if you’re going to have an argument during the day with a close friend or bump into someone on your way to an appointment who has good news to share.

It would use past your history to predict what might happen, and since it can access your medical results and that of your family, it might be able to predict small ailments like getting the flu from your child or catching a cold from a co-worker you’re meeting with.

It could estimate which grades you will get in school based on how much you studied and how much weight you will lose based on your exercise routine and food intake. It could also tell you in advance if you are going to enjoy a TV episode, a concert, or a meal based on your past experience and the ones of other Oroscope users who have the same taste as you.

It would efficiently use machine learning software, which is designed to improve its accuracy on a daily basis. The choice would be yours to adapt your behaviour to change the future or use the information to improve your life.

The Market

There is a market for smart applications like the Oroscope. In my opinion, customers will require custom versions based their own taste or opinion about privacy. For instance, you could use it only to predict weather and traffic, and decide later to grant access to your agenda or location. Other people might want to use it to improve their relationships (by avoiding someone in a foul mood) or their health. The possibilities and applications are quite endless. The data is already there, and now the algorithms are just waiting to be created.

The Designer

I would like to thank Martin Rico for creating the images of the Oroscope concept. Martin lives near Buenos Aires, Argentina. He studied Design at the University of Buenos Aires and now works as a Freelance Industrial Designer. Martin also designed the Aerozon urban shipping system and the Winston congress bot.

Hakima

The Concept The Hakima is a light-sport, multi-rotor aircraft concept that would allow a new generation of pilots to safely experience flying at low speed...

Ceros

Xubikoo

Onyx

Colombi