Found this tonight and was excited to learn about the level of sophistication already evolving in 3D printing. I know I’ve mainly been reposting videos lately, but I’m busy with school work right now and have less time to write. This does not mean that I am not thinking about the future of human transportation on this planet. Indeed, I am more convinced than ever that humanity must ultimately transition away from the automobile and that bio-inspired flying machines offer a way forward (albeit a frightening one for many right now). To me, cars are like klunky, hulking exoskeletons that we must learn to shed in order to metamorphose into higher (literally) beings. Beings with a perspective that is inherently more angelic. More Angel – like. World peace might not be so far off at that point either. Who knows?
The Pacific golden plover flies for more than 100 hours continuously to travel the 5,000 to 7,000 kilometer distance from northern Siberia and Alaska to Hawaii and other islands in the Pacific Ocean.
Humans have flown more than 70 miles in heavier than air craft while completely under their own power. That feat was accomplished over twenty years ago.
Ninety percent of Americans spend at least $1 out of every $7 earned on transportation. The average family now spends $7,600 every year on transportation, more than is spent on food and twice what it spends on health care. (SSTI State Smart Transportation Initiative)
Technological growth is proceeding exponentially.
Smartbird is scaleable.
Otto Lilienthal made over 2,000 gliding, bird-like flights before 1900
In 2010, there were an estimated 5,419,000 automobile crashes [in the US], killing 32,885 and injuring 2,239,000. The 32,367 traffic fatalities in 2011 were the lowest in 62 years (1949). (Wikipedia)
An estimated $85 billion annual investment over the next 20 years is necessary to bring highways and bridges to a state of good repair. (SSTI)
During it’s 3,000 -4,000 kilometer, 80 – 90 hour over-water fall flight to South America, the Blackpoll warbler is hyper efficient. If it were burning gasoline instead of reserves of body fat, it could boast of getting 720,000 miles to the gallon.
The cheap fuel is all gone. We are doing a whole lot of long lasting environmental damage going after those diminishing returns.
Birds do it. Bees do it. Let’s do it too. We don’t need to be as good as the Blackpoll right out of the nest, but we’ll be way better than we are right now.