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Physics Behind the Flutterbye Flower Fairy

  1. Nov 10, 2014 #1
    Hi,
    I was wondering what the physics is behind the https://www.amazon.com/SpinMaster-2...&sr=8-1&keywords=Flutterbye+Flying+Fairy+Doll. I am specifically talking about this toy m0scm9z__YMmUDk9-ZRN_yA.jpg

    Besides the battery or whatever is used to propel it, what other natural forces/laws apply to this toy? I have tried to draw a free body diagram to come up with the answer, but I seem to not be able to find out the reason.

    - Jacob
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 10, 2014 #2

    Bandersnatch

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    Hi Jacob.

    The wings generate lift to counter gravity.
    The effect of increased lift when close to a surface(like a hand) is probably the ground effect(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground_effect_(aerodynamics)). I couldn't find out exactly how the toy is built, but I'd assume the second set of wings in the centre is counter-rotating to cancel the torque on the body induced by the other set(so that the body doesn't spin).
    That should be all there is to it.

    However, the instructional video for the toy that I watched said that the toy "is sensitive to light levels in the room, including the colour of the floor". I've no idea what are they talking about.
     
  4. Nov 10, 2014 #3

    A.T.

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    Have you heard of these?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helicopter
     
  5. Nov 10, 2014 #4

    A.T.

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    It's obviously not just controlled by the ground effect, but an optical sensor looking down.
     
  6. Nov 10, 2014 #5

    Bandersnatch

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    Duh, of course! Cheers A.T.
     
  7. Nov 10, 2014 #6

    Danger

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    Before the Barbie version came out, I saw a similar item on a "high-tech toys" segment of Daily Planet. It was part of a game wherein two people use things similar to ping-pong paddles as "landing pads" to steer the machine around, pass it back and forth, play keep-away, or whatever. The floor colour issue is probably because excessive absorption/reflection of the optical sensor frequency would mess up control.
     
  8. Nov 10, 2014 #7
    So what would you guys say is the final explanation to how this thing works?
     
  9. Nov 10, 2014 #8

    DaveC426913

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    It's just a helicopter, like the remote control ones that are so popular out there these days, except it has no remote control.
    $(KGrHqR,!hoFBs0Pd1qoBQurv7JMtg~~60_35.JPG

    I honestly had no idea it had a ground sensor. I guess that's to ensure it doesn't go over the rooftops and disappear.
     
  10. Nov 10, 2014 #9

    Danger

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    Actually, I think that it's to make it hover over the user's hand or paddle.
     
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