At the Inspiration Week in The Hague, the booth next to mine was the one of the DelFly team. Booth keepers Bart Remes and Filip Saad stole the show with their 17 grams light weight devices that looked a lot like a dragonfly. DelFly is a project of the Technical University of Delft, The Netherlands. In December 2006, after a year of developing, designing and building, the team has exceeded any expectation and produced the DelFly II, with camera onboard. The device can fly not only horizontally with a velocity of 15m/s, but it can also hover and even fly backwards with a velocity of -0.5m/s.
This makes the DelFly II the world’s first ornithopter that has such a wide flight envelope without any adjustments in the plane’s configuration. This student graduation project has a lot of potential, especially when it comes to exploring small locations where little helicopters don’t have access to, or where they are sucked against the ceiling or wall due to natural forces. Think about exploring disaster sites of collapsed buildings, exploring pipelines and so on. These guys definitely deserved to be crowned with the ‘best product - best demo’ award, and a lot of the other exhibitors thought so too. Check out this small demo and be amazed. For me, this was a serious WoW moment. Video: Delfly
For more information, check out the DelFly team