Human-sized drone unveiled – but is it a drone?

Image: Ehang 184 drone
The Ehang 184 drone has been tested in China. (Credit: Ehang)

Look! Up in the air! It’s a drone, it’s a plane, it’s … Super-Quadcopter!

Droves of drones were unveiled this week at the International CES show in Las Vegas, but the one that made the biggest splash was arguably the Chinese-made Ehang 184, a remote-controlled quadcopter that’s so big it can accommodate a 220-pound passenger.

Guangzhou-based Ehang says the electric-powered, 440-pound craft can be charged up in two to four hours and fly for 23 minutes. It’s designed to fly at an altitude of about a quarter-mile at speeds of up to 62 mph, but if you push it, the vehicle can go as high as 11,000 feet.  It even has air conditioning and a reading light.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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