A former Philippine dancer and camera operator has turned into an inventor as he revealed his drone that actually carries a human being.
Kyxz Mendiola has invented a drone that features a cockpit for a single person and multiple propellors similar to those found in smaller drones. Think of it as a personal drone, or a single-seat flying vehicle of sorts.
Reuters reported Wednesday that Mendiola spent a "long time" saving up to fund the project. After touching down after the maiden voyage, he told the publication it was "amazing" and everything worked just as he imagined it would.
The vehicle, which he calls the Koncepto Milenya, can fly up to 20 feet high in the air, reach a top speed of 37 mph, and carry up to 220 pounds. Should one or two of the rotors fail, the vehicle's other 16 rotors will pick up the slack as an added safety feature. Powering the human-sized drone are six lithium-ion batteries, though specific range and power estimates weren't given. The pilot controls the Koncepto Milenya with a radio frequency controller, which Mendiola said is rather simple in operation.
"Press a button and it will go up, then push the stick forward, it goes forward. It’s very smart, that’s why I’m saying it has a lot of potential," he said.
Mendiola's ultimate goal is to help solve crushing traffic congestion in cities like Manila. He said a typical drive within the city may take one hour due to congestion, but the small drone could zip passengers to their destination in about five minutes, he said.
After a video of the drone went viral on YouTube, Australian company Star8 has partnered with Mendiola to develop the drone further. The company believes the drone could have great potential in Asian and European markets.