Princeton University Graduate Student Creates Mini Flying Carpet


A graduate student at Princeton University has made an actual mini “flying carpet” out of a sheet of conductive plastic.

It moves via “ripple power waves” that come from an electrical current which are driven forward from air packets, according to Slashgear.

The four-inch square sheet is “lifted by the air packets and propelled forwards,” explains the BBC.

The flying carpet moves one centimeter per second, and it may soon travel faster. Also, the plastic sheet travels near the ground.

In an article appearing in Applied Physics Letters, Noah Jafferis, who is the Princeton grad student, said that the researchers “use integrated piezoelectric actuators and sensors to demonstrate the propulsive force produced by controllable transverse traveling waves in a thin plastic sheet suspended in air above a flat surface, thus confirming the physical basis for a ‘flying’ carpet near a horizontal surface. Experiments are conducted to determine the dependence of the force on the height above the ground and the amplitude of the traveling wave, which qualitatively confirm previous theoretical predictions.”

“It has to keep close to the ground, because the air is then trapped between the sheet and the ground," Jafferis told the BBC.

Eventually, the flying carpet may be powered by an independent power supply, such as solar panels, the BBC adds.

Jafferis developed the invention in the laboratory of James Sturm, professor of electrical engineering and director of the Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials, according to a university blog post.

"What was difficult was controlling the precise behavior of the sheet as it deformed at high frequencies," Sturm said, reports the blog post from Princeton University. "Without the ability to predict the exact way it would flex, we couldn't feed in the right electrical currents to get the propulsion to work properly."

Ed Silverstein is a TechZone360 contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

TechZone360 Contributor

Related Articles

Coding and Invention Made Fun

By: Special Guest    10/12/2018

SAM is a series of kits that integrates hardware and software with the Internet. Combining wireless building blocks composed of sensors and actors con…

Read More

Facebook Marketplace Now Leverages AI

By: Paula Bernier    10/3/2018

Artificial intelligence is changing the way businesses interact with customers. Facebook's announcement this week is just another example of how this …

Read More

Oct. 17 Webinar to Address Apache Spark Benefits, Tools

By: Paula Bernier    10/2/2018

In the upcoming webinar "Apache Spark: The New Enterprise Backbone for ETL, Batch and Real-time Streaming," industry experts will offer details on clo…

Read More

It's Black and White: Cybercriminals Are Spending 10x More Than Enterprises to Control, Disrupt and Steal

By: Cynthia S. Artin    9/26/2018

In a stunning new report by Carbon Black, "Hacking, Escalating Attacks and The Role of Threat Hunting" the company revealed that 92% of UK companies s…

Read More

6 Challenges of 5G, and the 9 Pillars of Assurance Strategy

By: Special Guest    9/17/2018

To make 5G possible, everything will change. The 5G network will involve new antennas and chipsets, new architectures, new KPIs, new vendors, cloud di…

Read More