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Jet packs, robot maids and flying cars were all promises for the 21st century. We got mechanized, autonomous vacuum cleaners instead. Now a team of Penn State researchers are exploring the requirements for electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicles and designing and testing potential battery power sources.

"I think flying cars have the potential to eliminate a lot of time and increase productivity and open the sky corridors to transportation," said Chao-Yang Wang, holder of the William E. Diefender Chair of Mechanical Engineering and director of the Electrochemical Engine Center, Penn State. "But electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles are very challenging technology for the batteries."

The researchers define the technical requirements for flying and report on a prototype today in Joule.

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