I tried to wrap the skirt evenly around the bottom deck as I
taped it down. Okay, so I was only partially successful. Make
sure the packaging tape covers any possible openings in the
skirt that could let air escape from the upper side of the
bottom deck. Any air leaving the skirt through the top is air
that doesn’t inflate the skirt or lift the HoverBot.
largest octagon and line up its edge with the edge of the
bottom deck. Do not tape the entire length of the octant
to the upper side of the bottom deck just yet. Only use
about six inches of tape to attach the middle six inches of
the first octant to the deck. Since only this section is taped
to the deck, the ends of the octant are loose. You’ll tape
them down later. Try to minimize the wrinkles as you tape it
down because I suspect that wrinkles in the skirt can result
in creases that prevent the skirt from sealing uniformly to
Now tape the skirt’s opposite octant to the upper side
of the HoverBot’s bottom deck. Again, align the edge of
the second largest octagon to the edge of the bottom deck
and keep your work neat. Only tape the middle six inches
of the octant — do not let the tape extend to the end of
Repeat two more times by taping the two octants at
right angles to the octants that have already been taped
In this early model of the HoverBot, I found out that when
the top deck is too large, the HoverBot does not glide well.
Notice that the HoverBot’s skirt is fully filled with air and
fairly symmetrical in this picture.
down. As with the previous two octants, only tape the
middle six inches to the bottom deck. (You are only taping
the alternating skirt octants to the bottom deck at this
time.) Now it’s time to tape the alternative octants to the
deck. Fold one of the free octants to the deck, line the
edge of the middle (second largest) octagon to the edge of
the deck, and tape the middle six inches of this octant to
the deck. Repeat this for the remaining three octants.
Again, only tape the middle six inches. This leaves eight
corners between each octant un-taped to the bottom deck.
Now fold up each corner as neatly and symmetrically as
possible and apply a small piece of tape to it.
After taping the skirt’s eight corners to the bottom
deck with a bit of tape, apply additional tape to the skirt to
completely seal the skirt. Evenly distribute any loose bits of
skirt around the bottom deck as you finish taping it.
While not necessary, you can run a test on the skirt by
putting the HoverBot together and powering the lift fan
with a power supply or battery. To do this, slide the lift fan
into the clamp in the bottom deck. Put the spacers on the
four riser bolts. Pass the ducted fan’s wires through the
opening in the top deck and mount the top deck to the
bottom deck. The lift fan will be held snuggly by the clamps
on the top and bottom deck, and the top deck will sit nicely
on the spacers on the risers.
Now give the lift fan five or six volts. It will draw nearly
two amps in the process. The skirt will inflate and a cushion
of air will magically appear beneath the HoverBot, lifting it
off the ground. A gentle push will send the HoverBot across
SERVO 10.2010 49