The BEAM Bestiary is a BEAM
BEAMbots that are propelled
through, and (at least periodically) supported by the
Fliers (a.k.a., Aerobots) are robots that move through, and
are propelled by the air. Not many folks have attempted to
make a flying BEAMbot -- primarily, I suppose, since most
BEAMbots are only episodically active, and this is a bad way
to stay airborne.
Still, here are a few design options to consider:
Helicopter -- could be airborne in
"hops", and use differential thrust to hop toward
Plane -- could use
non-solar power source (pneumatic, battery) for
propulsion, but solar power for control circuitry.
Blimp -- could use
neutrally-buoyant helium balloon for lift, solar power
for control and propulsion
I haven't heard of anybody trying to build one of these
-- so try your hand at one and make a name for yourself!
For more information...
There really aren't any sites I can point you to on
aerial BEAMbots. I have, though, found a few
interesting sites on small aerial robots of other
sorts (and nothing says we can't eventually build a
BEAM variant of one of these). So, in the interest
of inspiring future aerial BEAM craft, I present to
Planes, Big Tasks" -- an interesting (if
somewhat chilling) article on the prospects for
reconaissance via small aerial craft.
Beyond the reach of hobby builders, but still
fascinating to read, is the Stanford Mesicopter
Similarly, Georga Tech has a site about their
CalTech has a page on their MicroBat.
JPL has a "Planetary Aerobot" homepage
Discovery.com has a set of pages up on recent
developments on small flyers here.
There's an article on a small
radio-controlled microblimp here.
The Navy has a page (mostly oriented to
commercial bidders for a "build" contract) on a
small "DragonEye" flyer here.
The MLB Co. has a particularly nice set of
aerobot pages here,
has a good one here
Popular Mechanics has an interesting article
on the potential military uses of really tiny
aerial craft here.
Last, but not least, there's UC-Berkely's
Meanwhile, there is one sketch online of
a BEAM glider ('though to my knowledge it hasn't
been built yet) -- this would be lofted by a model
rocket, then glide down with direction provided by
a couple of photosensors. See here
for what information there is (pretty much just