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Dancing Man, Aerial Puppetry

#1
Make a light weight man size puppet out of flat plate foam board. Attach his head to his body with some short lengths of cord. Give him pinned joints that move at the shoulders, knees, hips, etc. Mount a quad on his head as if it were a hat. Add some very small motors and props, like Gremlin size, just above his knees, and on his hands where his thumbs would go. Have one pilot fly the quad, and another control the motors on his hands and legs to make him dance. For extra credit, add lights so he can dance at night.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#2
Make a light weight man size puppet out of flat plate foam board. Attach his head to his body with some short lengths of cord. Give him pinned joints that move at the shoulders, knees, hips, etc. Mount a quad on his head as if it were a hat. Add some very small motors and props, like Gremlin size, just above his knees, and on his hands where his thumbs would go. Have one pilot fly the quad, and another control the motors on his hands and legs to make him dance. For extra credit, add lights so he can dance at night.
Interesting thought...I know I've seen flying RC superheroes and flying RC witches on broomsticks; when the movie Chronicle came out in 2012, there were some guys who were flying these humanoid shaped planes around New York as a promotion for the film.

I can't imagine this would be much different!
 
#3
I can't imagine this would be much different!
This would not be a flying man, though it would be a man and it would fly, though not in forward flight like an airplane. It is more of a hanging man, like a puppet hanging from strings, except in this case he is hanging from his head, which is a quad. Also, in this case his arms and legs can move so he can dance.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#4
This would not be a flying man, though it would be a man and it would fly, though not in forward flight like an airplane. It is more of a hanging man, like a puppet hanging from strings, except in this case he is hanging from his head, which is a quad. Also, in this case his arms and legs can move so he can dance.
So you'd have a quad that would just hover, and you'd have a second radio that would manipulate servos to make the arms and legs go up and down. You'd need a sufficiently powerful quad (probably a hexacopter) to lift the secondary battery and motors to wind the strings (servos wouldn't have enough throw to make the arms move properly).

I don't think it's quite possible YET, only because I don't think you could make it light enough for what you're asking it to do. You'd need weight at the ends of the arms and legs to pull the puppet down when you reverse the motors, and the rest of it would have to be out of foamboard or lightweight plastic or paper, and you'd need some guides to keep the strings from jumping off of your winder motor spools, thus adding more weight...It might be possible now with what we have, but for the weight and mechanics, I don't think you'd have very long flight times (maybe a minute or two, TOPS).
 
#6
So you'd have a quad that would just hover, and you'd have a second radio that would manipulate servos to make the arms and legs go up and down. You'd need a sufficiently powerful quad (probably a hexacopter) to lift the secondary battery and motors to wind the strings (servos wouldn't have enough throw to make the arms move properly).

I don't think it's quite possible YET, only because I don't think you could make it light enough for what you're asking it to do. You'd need weight at the ends of the arms and legs to pull the puppet down when you reverse the motors, and the rest of it would have to be out of foamboard or lightweight plastic or paper, and you'd need some guides to keep the strings from jumping off of your winder motor spools, thus adding more weight...It might be possible now with what we have, but for the weight and mechanics, I don't think you'd have very long flight times (maybe a minute or two, TOPS).
I guess I would have to build it to get the idea across. The head-quad doesn't just hover. It moves-sways around and the body follows.

The body, though almost full size, need not be heavy if made from flat foam board. I am not suggesting a complex 3D shape. That keeps the quad to a reasonable size and allows it to fly for a reasonable length of time.

You could make it a string-puppet with servos to pull the strings, but that is not what I am suggesting. I will explain by describing just one arm.
The flat plate upper arm hangs from the shoulder via a pin joint. The flat plate forearm and hand connect to the upper arm with a pin joint at the elbow. A tiny Gremlin size motor and prop are attached to the hand where the thumb would go. When the motor powers up it pulls the forearm up so it pivots at the elbow. When the elbow gets to 90 degrees it has a stop so it won't bend any more, and then the whole arm comes up until the hand is at about shoulder height, and then the shoulder joint hits the stop. There is no need for strings to pull up anything as the motor and prop on the arm do the pulling.

A similar motor and prop just above the knee pulls the leg forward and then up as it pivots at the hip and knee joints. 4 of these little gremlin motors don't weight much, nor does the battery or ESC required to power them. A RX in the body controls these 4 motors, so you don't need any servos. Precise motion like a robot is not possible, but arms and legs bouncing around like dancing is.

There is no need to add weights to anything. Gravity and the down wash from the quad should pull everything back down just fine.

You do need 2 "Pilots" one for the quad, and one for the body. The quad pilot just sways around with the music. The body pilot just moves the arms and legs around with the music. Some clever mixing in the TX can allow the two sticks to control the 4 motors in a coordinated way that makes the movement look more natural, but ultimately making puppets move is a skill and an art that takes a bit of practice.