Iron Man Becoming Real (Richard Browning, Gravity Industries) | DLD 18

Iron Man Becoming Real (Richard Browning, Gravity Industries) | DLD 18

and flight is a subject that has inspired generations for millennia I guess but what if you could tackle that challenge in an entirely different way and particularly human flight what if you tackle that challenge by leaning very heavily on the capabilities that we kind of all come out of the box with so I'm talking about balance control strength because after all the human being is a pretty amazing machine and and to really really reinforce that point I'll show you a little clip here but also I think an even better example than my old training partner doing that I would say is actually a cross-country run so running across a field I mean that's an amazing feat of balance and control you're for your feet I'm only momentarily touching the ground with each stride that's the phenomenal if you were to build a robot to do that then you know the Boston Dynamics people can explain to you how hard that is so what about approaching this challenge of human flight leaning very heavily on that already pretty amazing machine and that's the story I'm going to share with you so there's one thing that's missing and that's horsepower so we don't really come out of the box despite with balance and and decent matter strength we don't have enough power versus our weight so we had a little play around one of these so this was around March 2016 I would say and the ethos that we applied here and this is all alongside day jobs and doing other busy things was spending more time getting out there and testing and learning from failure getting your hands dirty and as long as it was safe learning from doing and so that was the the mark one-armed mount to put a micro gas turbine on your arm then that worked so well that we decided to go and actually test it in the field this is in a lane with a mop bucket with the fuel tank inside it that was so compelling that generated so much power you can see towards the end of this I was really having to brace myself to try and hold it that we thought well there's an obvious place to go after knocking up that very simple basic prototype let's try to so this was now a bigger field fuel tank now in a backpack and an engine on each arm so this is now generating a ram and 300 and 350 horsepower 3 no 300 horsepower and pushing with about 44 kilos of thrust so I'm essentially weighing 44 kilos less than I did but obviously I'm carrying equipment and you can see when I try and hold them horizontally and somewhat fail you can see that's quite a lot of power there so again following this trend you might be noticing now try it for now it's getting really serious for a mum for a moment I mean the maths doesn't quite add up but I mean that's 88 kilos of lift when you put the fuel and the other equipment on then that's not quite enough to get me off the ground at me without carrying the equipment that would be but you can see that was compelling and this was only probably and I don't have a precise date stamp on that clip that was probably only two months three months after that first standing in a lane with an engine so you can see wherever possible quickly prototype and repurpose existing equipment and go test and learn vastly quicker than going in custom building a great expense something that as soon as it arrives out the box you think that wasn't gonna work so you can see this was a little bit of a failure you've got a little collection of failures coming here we got the engines now on the legs this this is a model that didn't really work very well this was the idea of trying to safely suspend myself from this harness it didn't work at all because you've a fete effectively generated another vector another component of lift that is variable because you're swaying around underneath this thing it's hard enough to work out what to do with all these limbs pushing so that didn't work this didn't work either this was an example of pinching a fuel line that's going quite well until this happened that was a that was annoying and this was a blind alley when I said about quickly repurposing and experimenting and not being afraid to try stuff that's now an awful lot of horsepower and this is all on the arm so each arm there is pushing with about 60 kilos of lift if I put them on full power and you can see I did I was chickening out of putting the outer ones on full power because you can see the exhaust cones weren't glowing as red that would have lifted me up a long way I've also got the batteries on my shoulders there because we were having a an issue with the lipo's getting a little warm sort of below knee height so we stuck them up there temporarily anyway we made lots of progress and this is a little collection of very short little clips where you can see we were we were kind of getting there tantalizingly close there's no rulebook for this look at that that's just we were so close and then this strange human behavior of when you feel like you're gonna fall over your legs start doing this which is no good when you've got an engine attached to each one but but the model of two on each arm and one on each leg that was enough on paper to lift the body and in theory I thought with that starting hypothesis of balance and control that should be enough to be able to get you off the ground and then we did this this was November 2016 with a very wobbly right leg that was it you actually managed to fly you know in a kind of beating up farmyards not very far away from where I live that that actual that farm yard was critical to this process because you could actually go and prototype something within five minutes drive down the road and go and test it they're nowhere near any roads or footpaths or press or anything like that because right up until that moment this looked like a ridiculous pastime but at the point we did that that's where it changed from a crazy vision a crazy dream a crazy idea into something that actually worked but failing was never far away this is a little collection just everybody loves the falling over that was a recent one you know as long as it's safe and there was a big life jacket that then popped out I didn't drown there as long as the failures were safe and controlled that's how we made the progress we learnt vastly more about these failures than we ever did when it actually worked now this is a little little collection of clips from the Guinness world record we did the Guinness folks hounded us for a while about doing a flight so they set it all up and this is I guess a nice little showcase of the capability we've got now so this was back in November and we've actually enhanced the system quite a long way since this but as I think you'll agree I think we validated the hypothesis that the brain and body is a pretty awesome machine at being able to balance and control an icon I don't ski I don't snowboard I don't roller skate I've got no clever balancing ability I mean I can stand on one leg but that's it but look at that look at that balance control that's all down to what you can do with your arms in terms of adjusting the vectors so that you know as I say that's just I think a culmination of really only about 18 months 12 to 18 months of sort of relentless development and that was the back end of last year so where have we gone since then it's actually been a pretty amazing journey we launched this whole business after we patented all the technology as well we launched it around the end of March last year we've now done 38 events in 13 countries we had a funding round that was somewhat accidental by doing a demonstration in San Francisco and the Draper family wrote a check after the demo on a bank note and that was my funding round my background by the way I was an oil trader for 16 years in a big corporate big oil company and and I also set up a start-up some years ago and I I'm absolutely familiar with no startups having a much harder job a much harder pathway to funding this doesn't seem to follow any of those rules so and this photo here is a demonstration of one of the things that have come since we have we've had lots of people around the world seemingly quite inspired by what we've done and asking if they too can learn how to fly and I have to say to begin with we were so busy we just said look wait until we've developed the next version of this but a small select few actually we conceded to and that was the first example of a custom built race suit or flight suit that we built for a particular individual and I've got a little clip here of that was me flying in after spending three days with him our anonymous Japanese very wealthy individual who actually learnt to fly that still in the same farmyard we're now operating in a much nicer kind of custom-built hangar I have to say but I quite like that photo because there's actually two people wearing all this crazy kit there and it and it all flies the suit I was wearing though is around a thousand and fifty horsepower with not very much fuel as you can see and the one he was wearing is the sort of scaled-down version of 800 horsepower it's as I say really just the beginning of this journey so the big frontier for this year apart from carrying on enjoying going around the world flying in interesting locations and and also training and you know helping other people to experience this for a unique form of flight the big new frontier is actually the transition to era for flight so at the moment if you know the harrier aircraft it just blows air blows air downwards if i don't really think they're operational anywhere in the world now but they used to just blow air downwards I suppose like the f-35 that's a very inefficient way of actually getting off the ground if you start transitioning forward into actual aerodynamic flight then it's a vastly more efficient way to generate lift we've got about a hundred and thirty percent of the weight of the flight system which is me and the kit in thrust so as you saw when we were flying over that Lake it didn't take much just to lean a tiny bit and you get up to an amazing speed so we're working in the background to develop essentially wings very they don't need to be very big to have a big impact and start generating lift in that way and we're also entertaining all sorts of really exotic and quite exciting technologies so I think the next slide if I remember rightly in my slides oh you've killed us there we go that's another set of these arm mounts so in other words you put your arm down that tube and then those are the engine housings that's 3d printed in titanium the ones that I flew across the lake were aluminium we're kind of pushing into all sorts of different realms that are really quite new in in terms of materials and it's just brilliant to collaborate with companies that most of the time actually and that's included those those 3d bouncer included really want to just collaborate with us because we're having great fun doing something that was still impossible the other big technology frontier in addition to the wings and the 3d printing is heads-up display technology so a are basically it this is a really good use case for a are when you're flying along you can't exactly look down at any dials so having a holographic projection in front of you of your fuel and engine data is just fantastic we've even got now comms so so communications with the ground we've had several of us flying now at the same time and being able to actually call as in speak to each other and slightly weirdly we're actually using voice conferencing so you dial into a conference number and then all speak through this shared headset system so it's as I say really only the beginning of this journey we've got some pretty awesome plans coming up this year this is a kind of fun little artist render of some of the ideas we've actually got a got an early stage deal signed with a Hollywood based outfit that want to and you have to have a bit of a leaf imagination with this actually have a cruise I suppose an air race and display team actually flying around pylons flying around a circuit and if you imagine you're in pairs one pilot goes off flies around this circuit like the Red Bull Air Races probably over water because then if you crash it's not quite so catastrophic and you do I don't know three-minute laps and we can fly just be clear even hovering now for about eight to ten minutes which is you know pretty impressive but let's say three-minute laps come back in tag your next partner and they go off round and if we had a whole Air Race and display team doing that thousand horsepower jet suits which literally hit you in the chest when they're running I think that'd be quite exciting so this is all the stuff that's coming next year and all of it really from that starting point which was I suppose a willingness to to have a pretty a pretty frankly at the time ridiculous vision something that was considered by most most most aeronautical engineers and my whole family background was aeronautical engineering not that I followed it and up until now it was considered to be pretty impossible and it just shows that if you've got an appetite to go and entertain I suppose relentless failure which is where you make most of the learnings and as long as that failure is safe I'd look it just shows where you can get to and as I say I think if you keep following where we're going in the next in the next 12 months I think you might be quite surprised with what we managed to deliver now I I I rattled through this fairly quickly because I usually at these kind of events if we've got the technology to do it open this out to people if they want to ask any questions and I know we started a bit late as well so either catch me at the end of this or otherwise if there's any you know questions then I'm very happy to field any in the audience so anyway thank you I guess I'm a Stefan some from infested Serbian digital Serbia I guess I'm asking what many asked you and thinking at the moment any estimates of the price and ability to buy so the one that you saw there dressed in that hangar that was a quarter of a million dollars but that concluded three days of flight training and taking it away now actually the guy didn't take it away he's coming back in a couple of months time to carry on training with a now the next generation of suit so we're at we're actually now in California and in London setting up these essentially it's a it's it's a fitted out aircraft hanger with everything you need in order to safely feel and experience what it's like to fly around and I think we're gonna mostly cater for people who want to come along and spend a day two days experiencing it and learning to fly which would be a lot cheaper not quarter of a million fifty to a hundred thousand that kind of range well you need a license to do it no this is this is the joy of doing something completely new that's not been done before no so as I say 13 different countries that everything packs down into two normal suitcases I I used to use these big armored Pelle cases that look like you're traveling around with weapons and they they used to get a bit too much attention at airports we still got let in everywhere but now they're just too hard shell wheeled suitcases they weigh about 23 kilos each and we travel anywhere in the world if we weren't underwear to watch so what do we have to do come to you and know where is it you want to fly you wanna fly yeah London or California yeah yeah just just come along ok so so the Japanese chaffeur you saw in that clip he was one of the founding or early members of Ferrari cliente he I think he'd done 3,000 kilometers f1 driving and he's on cameras saying that was his three days with us was vastly more exciting and exhilarating than driving a Formula One car there is something pretty indescribable of hearing the wind up of five gas turbines a thousand horsepower and then if you've ever been around a drag car a jet fighter you know Formula one where it hits you in your chest it hits you in your soul it's like that and then you're seeing human being rise up and move around in three dimensions it's it's pretty unusual so yeah you become come and watch us anywhere in the world or or as I say London or California but we're probably going to start building more of these sets we will do that I'm sure yeah so thank you so much for church there's a big fun thank you for a big applause [Applause] you

30 thoughts on “Iron Man Becoming Real (Richard Browning, Gravity Industries) | DLD 18

  1. If you design a lightweight exoskeleton with preloaded spring tension at the joints you could refine control of flight. Ball joints at the junctions would keep mobility high. Unpowered spring loaded exoskeletons are commercially available.

  2. I think the flyboard air is a better unit. It keeps your hands free and balance naturally comes from the legs.

  3. The idea of attaching that to the leg was promising but you just need some nuts and bolts to make. Sure no matter how you move your leg the engine will point straight towards the ground

  4. I wonder how long it’s gonna take till the military comes and steals his design. I wouldn’t doubt they did it already

  5. I badly know English, translated via the online translator, but to fly it abruptly, Russia to it is far still

  6. If soldiers around the world purchase this type of future leisure equipment which soon become weaponize suit then no one can stop them to conquer one continent to another. This reminds me of sci-fi movies such as The Rocketeer, Bobbafett of Starwars, Robocop 3 ( the jetpack suit up scene) and the latest Ironman movies. Jumping forward to the future, no doubt that the Hanna Barbera futuristic cartoon The Jetsons would be as real as it gets. Ohhhh….Don't forget also Back To The Future part 2. They are becoming more real !!!!!

  7. We still need an Iron Man power source. Batteries won't do, and combustion certainly isn't feasible in these flying human scenarios. I truly believe anything is possible.

  8. I am surprised about how many kerosene liters should you take with you to the six jet engines flying just for one hour? With this effeciency power it's will be not simple .

  9. This tech should work with that "Suit X" company to help support the flyers shoulders, legs and back to not get tired resisting the turbine's strength! GREAT TIME TO BE ALIVE!!!

  10. The control needs to be on the jet nozzles stabilised electronically with the engines fixed, not reliant on your arms and physical strength for control.

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