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Beatfly: The MIDI flying blimp

Submitted by on June 25, 2010 – 8:56 pm 3 Comments

A short time ago, we introduced you to the Velosynth, an open-source bicycle synthesizer, but now we’ve got an entirely new vehicular MIDI machine: the Beatfly.

The Beatfly, created by Hideki Yoshimoto, is a small DIY illuminated blimp made simply for purpose of entertainment. It is very light and it’s movement and flight can be controlled via various interfaces such as a MIDI controller, synthesizer, iPhone multi-touch interface, flash interface on a web site, computer keyboard, mobile phones, voice, and even music.

It flies around the room, emitting different colors of glowing light, moving around the space based on user input. Both the Beatfly hardware and software are completely open source, and you get extensive tech resources with it, including circuit diagrams, mechanical diagrams, and software, all published under Creative Commons license.

“The air is one of the most important stages for entertainment performances. Aerial vehicles can be thought of as media that actively perform in the air. However, their potential has not been fully explored, and most aerial vehicles for entertainment are simply radio-controlled.”

Here’s what the Beatfly looks like in action:

The IPA Exploratory IT Human Resources Project sells a fairly limited number of Beatfly DIY kits for $65 each. The kit includes a soldered circuit board, motors, propellers, structures, screws, and the main balloon. You will need a bit of soldering skills, and some additional electronic parts such as Arduino, the XBees radio and wireless modem, a battery, and some helium gas.

You can order one by emailing info (at) with your name and shipping information, and they’ll contact you about payment. You can check out their website here.

via Synthtopia


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