Hackaday Podcast 083: Soooo Many Custom Peripherals, Leaving Bluetooth Footprints, And A Twirlybird On Mars

Hackaday editors Mike Szczys and Elliot Williams ogle the greatest hacks from the past 168 hours. Did you know that Mars Rover didn’t get launched into space all alone? Nestled in it’s underbelly is a two-prop helicopter that’s a fascinating study in engineering for a different world. Fingerprinting audio files isn’t a special trick reserved for Shazam, you can do it just as easily with an ESP32. A flaw in the way Bluetooth COVID tracing frameworks chirp out their anonymized hashes means they’re not as perfectly anonymized as planned. And you’re going to love these cool ways to misuse items from those massive parts catalogs.

Take a look at the links below if you want to follow along, and as always, tell us what you think about this episode in the comments!

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“A Guy In A Jet Pack” Reported Flying Next To Aircraft Near LAX

In case you needed more confirmation that we’re living in the future, a flight on approach to Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday night reported “a guy in a jet pack” flying within about 300 yards of them. A second pilot confirmed the sighting. It’s worth watching the video after the break just to hear the recordings of the conversation between air traffic control and the pilots.

The sighting was reported at about 3,000 feet which is an incredible height for any of the jet packs powerful enough to carry humans we’ve seen. The current state of the art limits jet pack tech to very short flight times and it’s hard to image doing anything more than getting to that altitude and back to the ground safely. Without further evidence it’s impossible to say, which has been an ongoing problem with sightings of unidentified flying objects near airports.

While superheros (or idiots pretending to be superheros) flying at altitude over the skies of LA sounds far fetched, the RC super hero hack we saw nine years ago now comes to mind. At 300 yards, that human-shaped drone might pass for an actual person rather than a dummy. This is of course pure speculation and we don’t want to give the responsible members for the RC aircraft community a bad name. It could have just as easily been trash, balloons, aliens, or Mothra. Or perhaps the pilot was correct and it was “some guy” flying past at 3,000 feet. That’s not impossible.

We anxiously await the results of the FAA’s investigation on this one.

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Daedalus Jet Suit Takes To The Skies

[Richard Browning] wants to fly like Daedalus. To us, it looks a bit more like Iron Man. [Browning] is working on project Daedalus, a flight suit powered by six jet engines. These turbines are exactly the type one would find on large, fast, and expensive R/C planes. Some of this is documented on his YouTube channel, Gravity Industries, though RedBull has also gotten involved and have a video of their own that you can check out after the break.

The project started last year in [Browning’s] garage. He strapped a jet to an old washing machine to test its thrust. The jet nearly flipped the machine over, so he knew he would have enough power to fly. The suit started with a turbine strapped to each arm. Then it became two on each arm. This was enough for moonlike hops, but not enough for actual flight. Strapping an engine to each leg worked but was rather hard to control. The current configuration features two turbines per arm, and two on a backpack.

The whole setup is quite similar to [Frank Zapata]’s Flyboard Air, with one key difference – [Browning] is supporting two thirds of his weight with his hands. The effect is similar to supporting oneself on gymnastic rings, which is part of his extreme physical training regimen.

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Finally. A Working JetPack

Well, it’s either an extremely well edited video, or [JetPack Aviation] has actually come up with a working JetPack.

According to their site, this JetPack has been in development for the past 25 years, and the current revision is capable of speeds of up to 100mph, and lasts for over 10 minutes. Just last week they flew it around the Statue of Liberty for a promo — yet this is the first time we’re hearing of it…

There’s a documentary coming out next year about the development of it, so it seems like a lot of effort to go to if it’s simply a hoax…

Watch their maiden JetPack flight after the break, and let us know what you think!

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Finally, A Working Jet Pack

Well, kind of. This is one of [Jason Kerestes’] latest projects as a masters engineering student at the Arizona State University — A jet pack designed to increase your running speed by quite literally giving you a boost.

It’s one of the proposed solutions to the 4MM (4 Minute Mile) project, which is part of the ASU Program called iProjects, which brings students and industry together to solve problems. The 4MM project is trying to find a way to make any soldier able to run the 4 minute mile — quite ambitious, but DARPA is actually working on it with [Jason]!

The whole rig only weighs 13lbs and features two electric turbines which provide the thrust. They originally tested the concept by seeing if you could pull a person with an electric golf cart around a track to make them run faster — turns out, you can. Further more scientific testing led them to find that there is a specific thrust to body-weight ratio that works best, with the direction of thrust about 25 degrees below horizontal.  Continue reading “Finally, A Working Jet Pack”

Water Powered Jet Pack

waterpack1

We’ve all dreamt, with tears in our eyes, of one day flying with a jet pack. The inherent danger of falling and/or exploding were almost as much as of a deterrent as the price tag. Now, that dream is closer to our grasp. This system, looks like it is basically just a pump that drags along behind you pushing water through nozzles on your back. You can see a video of someone flying around on one here. We think that the theme song should actually come with the unit and be broadcast at all times.