Science fiction loves drones – the hovering eye-in-the-sky, swooping through the air, far beyond the reach of 1990s technology. We’re now living in that future and many of those high-tech visions are coming true. And courtesy of a Russian hobbyist’s craftwork, we now have a working Half Life 2 City Scanner drone.
Half Life 2 came with a unique aesthetic, set in the wartorn Euro-metropolis of City 17, while an underground resistance force struggled to break through against the alien occupiers. The sinister city scanners watched over the action – apparently heavy hunks of metal chirping and floating in the air.
Swooping around the landscapes of Saratov, Russia, Valentin Demchenko’s model is rather lighter. Built from scratch, it incorporates a carbon fibre base frame and AX-2810Q-750KV Brushless Quadcopter Motors with a larger expanded polystyrene shell. Measuring 80cm long by 55cm high, the unit took two months to build and can stay in the air for 11 minutes, as seen in the video above caught on a GoPro 3.
While it doesn’t follow a classic quadcopter configuration, with the large external chassis, the City Scanner flies smoothly and is clearly able to handle itself.
The unit originally came with a flash feature, but this was removed as it burned out too quickly – though improvements and upgrades are planned.
Valentin further documented the construction in the video below, illustrating the original in-game version and how the parts of the custom unit were sourced and assembled.
Responding to positive feedback from fans, Valentin wrote: “Thanks to everyone who appreciated my work and would like to hear suggestions about the idea of the next project, but it should be something even more unique, difficult and impossible… this project should be a challenge, I really like [it] when they say, ‘It will not fly! It’s not possible!'”
In other news, here’s a much less aerial Portal USB sentry turret from ThinkGeek:
Like this? Get more in your inbox by subscribing here.