Flying carpet made from a sheet of plastic
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University graduate makes flying carpet out of plastic

Princeton University graduate student Noah Jafferis has made a miniature flying carpet out of a sheet of smart plastic.

Electrical currents through the plastic force it to undulate in such a way that pockets of air become trapped underneath and pushed backwards.

The sheet is supported on a cushion of air from the air table, and connected to conductive threads to supply power. The video shows the sheet turning on and off in several cycles, and it thus moves back and forth; the actual wave shape can not be seen but rather seems to "shimmer" when on.

In the slower portion of the video, the vibration is only a cycles per second, to allow viewing of the actual travelling wave vibration.

(Video courtesy Noah Jafferis)