One of the first questions I usually get when people find out I'm building a crazy flying machine is: what do you use it for? Given that I've been thinking about this for years and years the answer seems obvious to me, but if you've only recently been introduced to the concept it's less clear.
For starters, our current project, the FlytCycle, is targeting the entertainment market. Imagine how much fun it would be to fly above the ground (or water) by floating on air. It's essentially a flying ATV (or Air-Terrain-Vehicle as we like to call it)!
While our short-term goal is to commercialize the FlytCycle, our eventual goal is to design a vehicle that can safely be used in either cargo or human transport. So you can keep most of the hard-to-design parts the same, even for different uses!
Here are some examples where we think our next vehicle would be useful.
personal transport - Commuting
The obvious use (and our primary goal) so to transport people around. Imagine being able to walk out to your driveway, hop into a pod, and be flown autonomously to work. Or perhaps you'd order a Flyt Pod just as you currently order an Uber/Lyft. We could free up so much time for people and help alleviate road traffic at the same time!
Personal Transport - Tourism
We all love to travel, and one of the most incredible ways to see a new place is from the air! Currently, that means a helicopter tour which is expensive. Imagine being able to sit or lie down and be flown on a pre-programmed route to see the sights - how incredible would that be?
Personal Transport - Remote Areas
There are a lot of places that are inaccessible. It could be a farmer that wants to fly around and survey the farm, or perhaps a scientist needing to travel to a remote area far from roads. A personal flying vehicle is a great way to move people to remote areas.
Emergency services - Firefighter
In any emergency situation time is critical, and getting first responders to the scene quickly can help save lives. Firefighters are often the first at the scene, especially in medical emergencies - imagine if one or two firemen could fly to the scene and start administering lifesaving treatment faster, thus saving lives. Or potentially arrive at a fire a minute or two faster and start rescuing people from a burning building while their colleagues were still driving to the scene.
Emergency services - Police
Imagine a future where police officers could fly to the scene of an incident instead of driving in their squad cars. Especially in violent crimes getting there fast is critical to saving lives and apprehending criminals. Plus, getting officers to crime scenes faster can reduce crime.
Emergency services - Search and Rescue
The world is a really, really, really big place. Search and Rescue teams have the difficult job of finding those who are lost in the wilderness and saving them. With these flying vehicles large areas could be searched cheaply, and a much smaller clearing would be needed to land. You could even imagine dropping supplies or a rescuer to an injured person while a larger vehicle was sent to pick them up.
Emergency services - Disaster Relief
When disaster strikes, existing infrastructure is usually unreliable at best or destroyed at worst. Flying vehicles could cheaply and efficiently airlift supplies or pick up and rescue those who are stuck.
Another obvious application of personal flying machines is the military. Being able to move troops quickly in difficult terrain, re-enforce troops under fire, medivac wounded soldiers to base, or safely moving cargo around without the need for big expensive helicopters are just some of the many ways these vehicles could help. And, they can land in much smaller areas than a helicopter because they're much more versatile in where they can operate.
Cargo - energy sector
Besides moving people, these flying vehicles can also deliver cargo to inaccessible areas. For example, offshore oil rigs or other remote areas of energy extraction are hard to get to, and being able to fly in critical components to get things back on track is important. Or, maybe you just want to fly in a special meal for the workers to brighten their day.
Cargo - accessing remote villages
There are still a lot of remote places people live in this world. Frequently the only access is poorly maintained roads (if at all) that take hours to get through. Imagine being able to deliver hundreds of pounds of medicine or supplies to remote villages by flying vehicle instead!
Cargo - goods delivery
Right now almost all of our goods are delivered by truck. Imagine if several hundred pounds of goods could be transported by one of our flying vehicles to stores, or possibly even your home. This would allow for more frequent restocking trips to retailers and reduced need to hold inventory, saving companies money. The possibilities are endless!
Other - Helicopter replacement
Helicopters are great inventions - they can lift a lot of cargo and people pretty efficiently (fuel wise). Unfortunately, they're expensive, loud, mechanically complex, and need large areas to safely land. Some of the tasks that helicopters are currently used for could be replaced by multirotor vehicles, especially when they can fly autonomously.
Other - flying for fun!
A lot of people own and fly small planes for the simple joy of it, and we think the joy and thrill of flying will only increase if replaced by multirotor vehicles that are quieter, safer, cheaper, and more efficient than the small planes they're replacing.
Other - Utility inspection
Currently helicopters are used to inspect and repair utility lines like power transmission lines. This is yet another example of where a multirotor vehicle (which can stay in position precisely) would be useful and cheaper to operate than a helicopter.
Other - even more
These are only some of the uses we came up with. Like we explain in the 'Our Vision' section, we want to create a platform where others can figure out how to best use this to solve problems. Have a good idea we missed? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org!