It must be all this talk of reviving old ideas, but Robot World News is running a story about a new look at an old idea – too old for even me to remember – the cyclogyro.
The what? The cyclogyro is a sort of flying paddle steamer – lift and thrust is provided by several long, thin aerofoils that rotate around a horizontal shaft. It looks like this 1930s design (from The Douglas Self Site):
Now a paper published in IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics details an experimental cyclogyro-based micro-UAV. This incorporates a new variable angle-of-attack mechanism enabling it to hover, climb and fly backwards.
If you feel the urge to know more, there is an explanation of the cyclogyro at this National University of Singapore website. It includes this video of a tethered flight: