Personal Transport Technology

Image from Steve Bowers
One popular design of Paracopter, often used for recreational use

Some forms of personal transport only became possible with the advent of the Nanotech Age.


The paracopter is a powered alternative to the parachute or parafoil for both safety and personal transportation and recreation. A paracopter unit consists of an expanse of fancloth connected by power/data/control lines to a harness with incorporated power source for the operator. Fancloth consists of a flat, flexible sheet of fabric pieced by innumerable small holes approx. 1.5 mm in diameter, each of which contains a powered fan. About 3 square metres of fancloth is sufficient to lift a human off the ground.

Basic models for safe emergency egress from aerocraft or tall buildings/structures use a few square meters of fancloth. Those for everyday transport or sport are generally two to three times as large and may be constructed of heavier duty cloth which includes added solar cells as well as greater active control of the airflow over the cloth surfaces for increased aerodynamic performance. In all models the cloth possesses a variable degree of rigidity to facilitate proper packing and deployment as well as to enhance maneuverability.

Power Stilts

The cause of a short-lived fad in the mid-fifth century A.T., power stilts are stilts with extensible legs. The trade-offs between low weight and flexibility for ease of movement on the one hand and strength and rigidity to prevent buckling on the other limited maximum height for a skilled user to approximately 100 meters without onboard balance maintenance - though purists held that such aids missed the point. Liability issues ultimately put a damper on official power stilting contests but dedicated stilters continued to test the limits of the technology and their skills up till the time of the nanoswarms.

Tetraskele Rig

A locomotive system utilizing four highly flexible, extensible limbs which is capable of climbing and traversing most terrain as well as gripping and manipulating objects. The limbs are connected to a rugged harness that both secures the user and provides a strong base against which the limbs can act during exertion. Generally, each limb has a maximum extension of five meters and ends in three or four sturdy footpads/grippers. Each foot assembly can further be outfitted with a variety of optional attachments or fine manipulators. Onboard ai systems increase ease of use even for those users without dni implants who must operate the rigs manually.

The same basic technology can be seen to varying degrees in a wide variety of bots, vecs and cyborgs.

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Development Notes
Text by Terrafamilia

Initially published on 09 November 2005.

page uploaded 9 November 2005, last modified 29 December 2007

Fancloth is derived from a concept by J Storrs Hall, who also formed the original concept of Utility Fog.