With Air Swimmers swarming all over the gadget scene and as a tribute to the original Air Swimmers, I wanted to see just how easy it is to build one myself.
Air Swimmers come cheap, but they are quite large compared to modern RC blimp standards, making them not very manoeuvrable in smaller rooms. So with Plantraco
creating a new class of nano blimps I wanted to check how difficult it is to build an air swimmer in the nano blimp class, i.e. based on a 9" latex balloon.
Building a working Nano Air Swimmer proved to be quite simple (keeping it simple being the key). It's all in the tail: everything is done with just one servo. The servo combines propulsion and steering, as in commercial air swimmers.
While commercial air swimmers move their center of gravity back and forth to move up and down, I went for an even further simplification: the nano air swimmer is permanently pointing slightly up and moving forwards means moving up, stopping means moving down (a trick used in 2ch toy blimps).
Check out how it performs in this video:
Note Februari 27th 2012: I corrected a large number of text errors, but there are probably quite a few still. English is not my native language. Please feel free to point out any mistakes.