back to article Flying Dutchman creates dead cat quadcopter

Dutch artist Bart Jansen has taken the aviation world by storm by rolling out the world's first dead cat quadcopter – a remote-controlled flying feline dubbed the "Orvillecopter" in honour of Orville Wright. The pioneering stuffed caticopter was apparently Jansen's own pet, who popped his paws after being run over by a …

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  1. mark 63 Silver badge
    Coat

    Orvillecopter

    at first glance I thought it was named after Orville the Duck

  2. Pete Foster
    Happy

    Sustained Flight?

    It IS ready for sustained flight:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-S4DZ_aWNuU

  3. jai

    it's all very well, but...

    Yes yes, very artistic and all, but it's only a matter of time until someone does this with their grandmother!

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: it's all very well, but...

      My Grams is about to pop her clogs after 101 years. She would love the idea a flying her about!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: it's all very well, but...

      What about Lenin? It be quite a thing to see something Soviet actually fly...

      Anon, because I take my tea without polonium...

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Go

        In Soviet Russia, Lenin flies you

        I take it you mean a Soviet person flying, cat-copter like, because they have quite a few things that do or did fly, such as Soyuz rockets, the Antonov 226 and a variety of Ekranoplans.

        I'd rather have Kim Jong Ill Dead Il retrofitted this way, then equipped with a high-resolution cam. That would breathe new life into http://kimjongillookingatthings.tumblr.com/

  4. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Flying pigs next?

    One step closer to having to re-write the old saying.

    1. Simon Harris
      Coat

      Re: Flying pigs next?

      Would the remote control be via Ham radio?

    2. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Flying pigs next?

      I wonder where that came from, as the medieval French already had flying cows and (British-built, no less) rabbits. Maybe because of the lack of guidance in those early attempts?

    3. b0llchit Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Flying pigs next?

      Only when hell freezes over...

      1. laird cummings
        Trollface

        RE: ...when hell freezes over...

        Hell* freezes over every winter.

        The pigs will be doing their flyover very soon...

        *http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hell,_Michigan

    4. Archimedes_Circle
      Holmes

      Re: Flying pigs next?

      Hey, Swine Flu

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    So...

    Where do you put the Batteries?

    1. Graham Bartlett
      Happy

      More to the point...

      Mais ou sont les baggages? Ou sont les passagiers...?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Credit due?

    This video was linked in the Special Bureau's GAGA discussion:

    http://m.forums.theregister.co.uk/post/1431531

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Credit due?

      Didn't see that, but yes, credit due - also to those readers who flagged it up via email. Cheers.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Credit due?

        The story was a bit late but then I understand the UK has been in shutdown for some reason for the past few days. But then pt2, the story comes from the Iberian office which hasn't, unless it's a case of any excuse to not do any work.

        1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

          Re: Re: Credit due?

          Ahem. In this far-flung outpost of Empire, we too raised a few glasses in honour of Her Maj Liz 2. And then a few more as an antidote to Elton John's obligatory royal performance. At least he didn't do a reprise of his sainted Lady Di funeral tearjerker.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Credit due?

            I sent my son to the celebrations as my representative but in my little corner of the Empire everything else was as normal.

          2. hplasm
            Devil

            Re: Credit due?

            What!? Sir Elt passed up a chance to do Camel With The Wind one more time?

            Blimey!

  7. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Brilliant!

    I have only ever got as far as putting a Davey-Crockett (dead raccoon) hat on top of a Tamiya RC car for the purposes of confusing a cat.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Graham Wilson

      Re: Brilliant!

      Imitation* dead raccoon caps were all the rage when I was a kid (although I never owned one).

      Dead cats prove useful: isn't there a book titled '101 Things To Do With a Dead Cat'? It must now need enlarging. One should mention Schrödinger too had a darn good use for a 'dead' cat.

      * Real dead raccoons were a bit pricy I believe.

      1. Crazy Operations Guy

        Re: Brilliant! - Real dead raccoons

        Not where one of my co-workers lived, she grew up in an area where a Squirrel-pot-pie was a thing...

      2. laird cummings
        Coat

        Re: Dead raccoons

        Pricy? Not at all. All you have to do is be quick with the shovel first thing in the morning, before the roadkill starts to turn. Fresh samples nearly every day.

        Mine's the patch-work fur job.

      3. Richard Bragg
        Thumb Up

        Re: Brilliant!

        There is indeed such a book, as well as "Cat's Revenge - 101 uses of a dead human" and "101 more uses of a dead cat" now available in one single volume.

  8. Mr C
    Unhappy

    his own cat? is that even legal?

    Ofc this is a 'real' dead cat (if we are to believe him), but still, am i the only one finding this lacking of taste..?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Lacking taste?

      You think... maybe just a little :P

      LOL

    2. Nev Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: his own cat? is that even legal?

      Bit of salt 'n' pepper would probably sort that.....

      1. TeeCee Gold badge

        Re: his own cat? is that even legal?

        I recommend Mama Africa's Zulu Sauce.

        Might even bring it back to life.

    3. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Flame

      @Mr C: Re: his own cat? is that even legal?

      You're kidding, right? It's not like the common moggie is an endangered species, so why would the legislature have to concern itself with disallowing taxidermification of same?

      And yes, it's his own cat. I know the guy, and his prime motivation was to improve Orville's bird-chasing abilities, albeit posthumously. The latter condition slightly defeats the purpose, but the idea is laudable just the same.

      1. Wize

        "...improve Orville's bird-chasing abilities..."

        I tawt I taw a puddy tat...

      2. Mr C

        @Stoneshop: Re: his own cat? is that even legal?

        Ok, so maybe its not illegal and it may not be a endangered species, but i can think of better ways of honoring your cat than turning it into a freakshow.

        I mean, really, do you have to descecrate the poor animal by tying it to a flyingmachine under the pretext that it can now continue to hunt birds?? really??

        If i ever catch my son doing that to our cat (either dead or alive) i would 1st think up of a suitable punishment, then sit down and think hard where i went wrong in educating him and making him care and respect any loved household pet.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: @Stoneshop: his own cat? is that even legal?

          >"do you have to descecrate the poor animal by tying it to a flyingmachine under the pretext that it can now >continue to hunt birds?"

          Nine out of ten cats feel that desecrating, eviscerating and generally playing with dead animals is perfectly acceptable, nay laudable, behaviour. The chances are that Orville would have have thought the same. Had he been able to hold such abstract opinions. Which he didn't, because he was a cat.

          [Hopefully Redundant Disclaimer: I'm not for hurting live cats, btw, just doubtful that they worry or care about what happens to them when they die. And I wouldn't skin somebody else's cat, as that could obviously upset a still-living human. ]

        2. Stoneshop Silver badge

          Re: @Stoneshop: his own cat? is that even legal?

          Clearly, there's more than one way to skin a cat, and equally clearly, there's more than one way to motivate whatever happens to said skin after the actual cat has ceased to be, shuffled off this mortal coil, joined the choir invisible etc.

        3. Anomynous Coward

          Re: @Mr C

          Loved your work in the past but your negation state is not beating a boss drum here - if this sort of kit would fit you, me and everything, and the oxygen restriction didn't prevent it from working for a fatman under human nrg I would move any mountain to make it mine.

      3. Gav
        Childcatcher

        Re: @Mr C: his own cat? is that even legal?

        "His prime motivation was to improve Orville's bird-chasing abilities, albeit posthumously."

        So he's mad then? I mean all artist licence, eccentric genius considerations aside, this is mad, isn't it? His cat is dead, it cannot chase birds.. And why improve his cat's ability to chase birds? Is there a particular bird problem in the gardens of the Netherlands that they require culling? Are the Dutch not experiencing the same undesirable fall in bird population as the rest of Europe? Or are the non-existent desires of a deceased cat to be paramount?

        So what makes the idea laudable?

        1. SteveK

          Re: @Mr C: his own cat? is that even legal?

          "So he's mad then? I mean all artist licence, eccentric genius considerations aside, this is mad, isn't it? His cat is dead, it cannot chase birds."

          Well, the aim was to improve its ability to chase them, not to actually catch them.. You don't know how bad it was at doing so to begin with. It may well be that despite being bereft of life, it is still able to chase birds better than when alive.

          1. Stoneshop Silver badge
            Go

            "able to chase birds better than when alive"

            Looking at the cows, I'd definitely agree.

      4. peyton?
        Unhappy

        Re: His prime motive

        To improve his bird-chasing? Yeah right. My guess: as he was stretching out his pet's carcass over a frame and wiring it up, his thoughts were focused on the number of views he'd get on youtube.

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge
          FAIL

          @peyton?

          You don't know the guy. I do.

          You're wrong.

      5. laird cummings
        Coat

        @ Stoneshop

        " ...his prime motivation was to improve Orville's bird-chasing abilities, albeit posthumously. The latter condition slightly defeats the purpose..."

        I would suggest that, given as he now has four flailing buzz-saws, one to each cardinal direction, his abilty to catch those birds he chases has been radically advanced.

        Mine's the one covered in bits of feather.

    4. Tel Starr
      Windows

      Re: his own cat? is that even legal?

      I don't know if it lacks taste as I've never eaten dead cat.

      1. jon 72
        Devil

        Re: his own cat? is that even legal?

        Good texture similiar to ferret but less chewy with a flavour somewhere between that of stoat and a badger.

      2. Mike Richards Silver badge

        Re: his own cat? is that even legal?

        'I don't know if it lacks taste as I've never eaten dead cat.'

        Have you been to a Harvester before?

        1. Graham Bartlett

          Re: his own cat? is that even legal?

          Cue the Ill Eagles "Cat in the kettle", and Carol McNelly's "McDonald's kitchen"...

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: his own cat? is that even legal?

        > I don't know if it lacks taste as I've never eaten dead cat.

        Or so you think.

      4. hplasm
        Holmes

        Re: I've never eaten dead cat.

        Think now. Can you be absolutely certain about that...?

    5. Armando 123

      Re: his own cat? is that even legal?

      This could only be better if the cat were still alive #dogperson

      1. hplasm
        Happy

        #dogperson?

        Is that like Manbearpig?

    6. Old Handle

      Re: his own cat? is that even legal?

      Why wouldn't it be legal? I'm just glad he didn't actually kill it for this purpose. I was afraid he might be another Luka in the making. But as long as he's just playing with already dead things, I don't really care.

      1. Montreal Sean

        Re: his own cat? is that even legal?

        @FastBrannigan: There's more than just the Navy lacking catapults...Cats hate water! :)

  9. amanfromearth
    Childcatcher

    Ewww

    Creepy.

  10. Steven Jones

    Think of the victims...

    If it was a typical domestic feline, that cat would have been responsible for the demise of several avians, a group which it has now joined, albeit postumously. The former might not have seen the joke...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Weaponize it, and it can be called Golgoth ? ;)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Of course the payload has to be ...

      ... buttered toast, for obvious reasons.

  12. squilookle
    Devil

    No Gatling guns???

    Good start, Mr Jansen, but you aren't quite there yet.

    http://shop.theoatmeal.com/collections/frontpage/products/gatling-kitty-signed-print

  13. NightFox
    Alert

    Lewis Page in 5..4..3..2..1..

    Just waiting for Lewis's article on how this is so much better than anything the UK armed forces have, including the mandatory detailed but selective comparison with the Typhoon.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lewis Page in 5..4..3..2..1..

      Unfortunately the Navy can't use it - the new carriers don't have catapults.

      Aye thang yow!

      1. NightFox
        Thumb Up

        Re: Lewis Page in 5..4..3..2..1..

        Sir, a Nation salutes you.

      2. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

        Re: Re: Lewis Page in 5..4..3..2..1..

        Good show. Award yourself beer.

      3. Stoneshop Silver badge

        Re: Lewis Page in 5..4..3..2..1..

        Easy solution: http://www.gocomics.com/nonsequitur/2012/06/03

        A dozen of these could be positioned on the flight deck. Problem sorted.

  14. Pete the not so great
    Go

    Sponsored by Go-Cat

    Missed opportunity

  15. Dave 126 Silver badge

    For those who haven't seen it yet...

    I really really recommend the TED Talk video by Vijay Kumar: 'Robots that fly ... and cooperate'.

    He has a swarm of autonomous agile quadcopters!

    It's like the Flight of the Bumblebee meets Flight of the Valkyries.

  16. Evil Auditor Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    This is sick!

    C'mon, what's the point of putting a _dead_ cat on wings? Take a living one and go chase some pigeons. And after all, if you then decide you preferred a dead flying cat... Well, we all know cats can survive a drop from any height. But can they also survive being propelled into ground? Someone has to try!

    1. ukgnome
      Mushroom

      Re: This is sick!

      You think this is sick - you should see what I have planned for my dear old mum!

      Mwah hah hah

    2. amanfromearth

      Re: This is sick!

      The point is that you can crash it 8 times without damage,

      1. Thorne

        Re: This is sick!

        "The point is that you can crash it 8 times without damage,"

        Thats because it always lands on it's feet

  17. Sir Lancelot
    Devil

    Room for improvement

    Make it night flight compatible by fitting nav and strobe lights!

    1. hplasm
      Devil

      Re: Room for improvement

      But it's already fitted with Catseyes!

  18. Dire Criti¢

    Does anyone know...

    ...whether the aerodynamic properties of a dead cat are better than those of a living feline?

    And does the type of vehicle performing the pussy flattening have a bearing in said aerodynamic properties?

    1. Jedit
      Headmaster

      Aerodynamic properties: dead vs live cat?

      I don't know whether a live cat would be less or more aerodynamic than a dead one, but at least there should be no difficulties in landing it safely.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Aerodynamic properties: dead vs live cat?

        >I don't know whether a live cat would be less or more aerodynamic than a dead one

        Probably a dead one would be more aerodynamic; whilst a live one would keep its coat clean and slick, a dead one wouldn't be wriggling into positions that presented a high cross section.

    2. Richard 23
      Happy

      Re: Does anyone know...

      Dead cats are much more aerodynamic - if they've been squashed flat - make a great Frisbee!

      A cartoon (by Robert Crumb?) featured this a long time back

      1. Olafthemighty
        Thumb Up

        Re: Does anyone know...

        Somewhere in the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, if memory serves me correctly.

      2. laird cummings
        Devil

        @ A cartoon (by Robert Crumb?)

        The concept you're looking for is 'Sail Cat:'

        http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Sail%20Cat

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Does anyone know...

      Dead cats are preferable, aerodynamically, because it eliminates their tendency to lick their arse mid-flight.

  19. ACx

    As some one who has been in RC hobbies for a while, I have to say that it total crap. Yeah down vote all you like, but any one involved in RC planes etc could have done that and made it fly properly. As an RC geek, things like this just plain annoy me.

    Or to put it another way:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Czmb6tEwFE8

    I suppose it what often happens with artists dabbling in things they know little about, with out finding people who actually do.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: ACx

      And you clearly know littlle of the build process, and who else was involved. Hint: there are two guys in the video, and this was the very first attempt, with a set of motors they already had, which turned out to be only barely powerful enough to lift the lot.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You FOOLS! This is RoTM!

    You Fools! Don't you see this is Rise of The Machines material?

    First flying zombie cyborg moggies, the next thing you know you have flying zombie cyborg moggies WITH FREEKIN LAZORS IN THE EYES - then full-on Hunter-Killers!

    (Yes, I am fully aware of the proper spelling of laser - that is a nod to the various "Imma Firin Ma Lazors" memes).

    But I feel the artist needs to hire an assistant to the flying, so he can concentrate on more weirdness - May I suggest CAT-lin O'Shannessy? (Obviously STRINGfellow would just distract the poor thing.)

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge

      Re: You FOOLS! This is RoTM!

      He has an assistant of sorts: the guy in the red/white/dark jacket is the one who built the 'copter chassis

    2. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: You FOOLS! This is RoTM!

      An interview of sorts with the 'copter-builder: https://hack42.nl/blog/2012/06/orville-the-catcopter

  21. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    The obvious question

    If this catcopter loses propulsion, does it also land on its feet?

  22. Chris Hawkins
    Linux

    Which OS was used?

    Just wondering what OS is being used for the flight systems?

    Given that a manual has already been written on how to load Linux onto a Dead Badger, I can only assume a Linux distribution has been modified for use!

    See: http://www.strangehorizons.com/2004/20040405/badger.shtml

    Given that hardened flight testing of IT systems and software for aviation/space appliations, usually results in OS'es being a couple of years behind in actual deploment, I can only assume it must be, Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx?

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Which OS was used?

      I can only assume it must be, Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx?

      It's a 10.04 fork, adapted for avionics applications: Levitating Lynx

  23. hi_robb
    Black Helicopters

    Superb - some thoughts..

    1: Now we can really check if a room is big enough to swing a cat..

    2: When at full speed as it wizzes by your head, does it make a 'meeeeoooow' sound?

    3: Can you control it with a mouse?

    4: If you nearly crash it, you can honestly say you avoided wrecking it by a whisker!

    5: Has he called it the heliclawpter?

    /Gets coat, and is dragged off stage left.

    (The black helicopter icon for obvious reasons.)

    1. Chris Hawkins
      Linux

      Re: Superb - some thoughts..

      hi_robb,

      Brilliant!

      Highly amewsing!

      Left me catatonic!

    2. Simon Harris
      Coat

      Re: Superb - some thoughts..

      Is the radio detector a cat's whisker?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Superb - some thoughts..

      6. Can you control it with a laser pointer?

  24. Patrick R
    Devil

    Prospects of a worthy 8th life

    For Mister Bigglesworth. Next indeed a freakin' laser on its head.

  25. amanfromearth
  26. Pavlovs well trained dog
    Thumb Up

    oh I love my querky countrymen

    first handbags now this

  27. Chris King
    WTF?

    What is it with Dutch artists and dead cats anyway ?

    This isn't the first time a Dutch artist has recycled a pet - anyone else remember the "Goodbye Kitty Handbag" ?

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/05/28/dearest_tinkebell/

  28. Mike Richards Silver badge

    It's lacking something...

    ...oh I know - a Playmobilnaut!

    Any chance El Reg's Iberian Special Projects Dept can team up with Transonic Pussy* and produce a video of the motorised moggy cruising the skies?

    * They were huge in the 1980s.

    1. cosymart
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: It's lacking something...

      I think the forum has just plummeted to basement level. "Transonic Pussy*" and then followed by * They were huge in the 1980s.

      You owe me a clean keyboard sir!

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge

        Re: It's lacking something...

        Basement level? What forum are you in then?

        It's by standing on my toes that I can barely look out the storm drain and see car wheels whizzing by,

  29. Snar
    Thumb Down

    What a sick and twisted cnut - If anyone did that to one of my cats I'd rip their balls off. Arsehole attention-seeking bastard.

    1. hplasm
      Devil

      What!!

      Why would you rip your cat's balls off?

      Why do you seek attention for your arsehole?

      I suppose you would have no interest in a DeadKittyBlimp then...?

  30. Pete 2 Silver badge

    102 uses for a... errr

    I just popped back to 1981 (well ok: to a box in the loft) and referred to the source material. ISTM Bart Jansen's idea bears a striking resemblance to use #26 - given the technology available at the time.

    I also can't help comparing the reception the book got back then (IIRC most people took it as whimsical humour - or outright ROFL, when they saw the pencil sharpener use) with some of the responses the reality generates 30+ years later. Intolerance, fear or hate - three sides of the same coin.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ಠ_ಠ

    ಠ_ಠ

  32. Anonymous C0ward

    It's not pining!

    It's passed on! It has ceased to be!

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: It's not pining!

      It escaped into another dimension.

  33. Joerg
    WTF?

    This guy is just crazy..on drugs claimed "artist" maybe a serial killer too..

    He should be arrested and jailed for the rest of his life. Just like the other "artist" that does the same things with human bodies.

    These people are crazy. They shouldn't be allowed to live free in our society. And then those trying to mimic this are only going to keep escalating the level of madness that our world is living in like never before.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: This guy is just crazy..on drugs claimed "artist" maybe a serial killer too..

      Oh really? Any evidence for that, you narrowminded twit?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Any evidence for that, you narrowminded twit?

        Yes, he has a detailed dossier comprising of clippings from the Daily Mail.

  34. samlebon23

    I have a dead cow at home, could anybody chose me a quadcopter that could fly it?

    Also, I want an iBovine remote.

    Thanx

    1. MJI Silver badge

      2 Chinooks?

      The post is required, and must contain letters.

  35. Graham Lockley
    WTF?

    A little late...

    Why didnt he kit the kat out BEFORE it got run over ? Maybe it could have avoided the wheels if it had extra propulsion.

  36. Steven H Taylor
    Black Helicopters

    Black Helicopter alert

    ...indeed.

  37. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Posthumous? More like postouranos.

    "His prime motivation was to improve Orville's bird-chasing abilities, albeit posthumously."

    Something is wrong here.

  38. stucs201
    Facepalm

    A strange way to make a cat fly

    I thought everyone knew that you levitated cats by attaching buttered toast to their backs?

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: A strange way to make a cat fly

      True, but then they revolve in mid-air. This produces precession effects when the cat is turned and makes them difficult to steer.

      Adding lift rotors is far more practical.

  39. Sceptic Tank Bronze badge
    Trollface

    Here kitty....

    Hmmm... I can see a catamaran in my neighbour's cat's future. The fur is (not) going to fly.

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