Know how to build a human-carrying drone or jetpack? Boeing will pay you $2 million to make it happen.
Boeing is the primary sponsor in GoFly, a two-year, international contest to build a “personal flying device” capable of Vertical Takeoff and Landing that can fly twenty miles and carry a person.
In other words: a drone or a jetpack.
“What we are seeking is an “everyone” personal flying device, capable of being flown by ANYONE, ANYWHERE. It should be a device for ALL: young and old, city-dweller and country-dweller, expert and novice,” according to the rules.
The good news, is you don’t actually have to build it at the start. The GoFly Prize Competition will award up to ten $20,000 prizes awarded based on a written report. From there, contestants will move onto Phase II, and ultimately to phase III. Judges include a team of experts from Boeing.
There’s a $1 million overall award, as well as various awards for quietest, smallest, and “disruptive advancement of the state of the art.”
Human-carrying drones have not yet been met with mainstream success. Dubai’s transportation agency chief promised that human-ferrying drones would begin transporting people across the city in July of 2017, though that still has not happened on a wide scale.
Research site YouGov conducted a study of American adults and found that only 1 in 20 people said they would feel safe riding in a passenger drone.
The registration deadline for Phase I of Boeing’s GoFly competition is April 4, 2018. The final fly-off is expected to occur sometime in October 2019.