If you’ve played Half-Life, your first reaction to seeing one of these might be to try to swat it out of the air with a crowbar. This terrifying bit of NPC game character technology was brought to life in about two months time on and off, and is the work of a Russian RC enthusiast who goes by the name of Valentin Demchenko. He revels in building stuff you’d swear could never fly.
This wild construct is a quadcopter underneath all the trappings, as nearly all UFO (“unlikely flying object”) builds are. The frame is made of carbon fiber and polystyrene foam, with the entire craft measuring out at 80 cm long, 55 cm high. Fully loaded with its Flight Controller DJI Naza-M Lite (without GPS), X-2810Q-750KV Brushless Quadcopter Motor, air screws and 3300mAh battery, it weights 1.77Kg, or slightly under 4 pounds. The base frame for the flight systems is made of 15x15mm segments, and the inner frame is about 39 cm. With a battery only slightly more gutsy than your average cell phone, flight time is only about 11 minutes.
The scanner drones in the game had flash units in them, and this did too before it burned out. The maker is planning on fixing that, as well as hooking up an actual camera as a payload and make it actually function the way it does in the game.
Valentin Demchenko is a concept artist at Plarium, a game company in Ukraine, and has designed for such games as Soldier, Inc., Final Fantasy IX and Nords: Heroes of the North. This explains something of how he was able to nail the look and feel of this thing.
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