CASE STUDY: Pegasus Alpha – Flying car

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In the back streets of Brisbane, two brothers with a passion for the automotive industry had a feeling that the future is vertical. NXG3N Robotics is a small Queensland company that has developed some amazing technologies in the fields of agriculture, urban habitats, and now mobility.

Their latest venture is Pegasus Alpha, a flying car.

At the recent Uber Elevate Conference, it was quoted that there are 75 known eVTOL (and related) technologies being worked on globally. NXG3N’s view is that Australia can be either a consumer or a contributor, and they want to be a contributor. Largely, the technology already exists, it is more a matter of the entrepreneurial will to make this happen.

This crazy idea was a total of 8 weeks from conception to full-scale prototype. As depicted in the images below, there now exists a 1/9th scale fully functioning prototype, utilising 3D design, 3D printing, CNC mills, vacuum forming, fast tracked manufacturing and existing drone technology to prove the concept. NXG3N knew this was not enough to gain national attention and push this mobility agenda, and so with only four weeks to the ICRA2018 Conference, they chose to create a full-scale flying prototype, of which the first uav-test-flights will be conducted by the end of June 2018.

The next stage for this is to connect with appropriate partners and explore the further development of advanced composite materials for the airframe, flight control systems, batteries and other fuel sources.

To date this project has been supported by MTAiQ Innovation Hub (Brisbane), who are historically key players in the automotive training industry, and they know that the future of training is fundamentally different with a need to focus on eLandVehicles, and eVTOLs.

This has further been driven by Tony Wheeler of ImagineX (Brisbane), an entrepreneur and tech-startup advisor, who drove the challenge of ‘let’s go full scale’, and believes that connected hardware and software systems design and integration is key for the future.

The key here is the connection of technical research and entrepreneurial ability, to get things done! Australia has a unique advantage in this space, but it may be lost, yet again, unless we challenge our culture of funding and commercialisation at the deepest level. Many small companies, such as NXG3N will just disappear unless we get this right. Creating easier funding pathways for non-university based research, or simplifying the process and culture of private-university partnerships is essential to supporting this type of development in Australia.

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Pegasus Alpha – Flying car

In the back streets of Brisbane, two brothers with a passion for the automotive industry had a feeling that the future is vertical.