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My favourite designs have a kind of callous simplicity.  "That's right, I beat your design with three engines and a dead weasel."  They do a lot with minimum parts.  This is why rotary designs make me happy.


Four engines and a direction indicator can race.


Two engines and two wall-sensors can climb and mine.

And they're really fun to watch.


Take a close look at what's happening.  Each sensor drives the OPPOSITE engine, carrying it around, making the far side spin up and around and hammer to the wall -- just in time to switch to the other one.


Direction sensors do exactly the same thing, in midair.  By changing the angle of the indicator, you can make it follow the target, flee it, or track a right-angle to it (something VTOLs cannot do).

You can mirror them without breaking them.  You never need to worry about turning, because they are always turning.  You only need one mining tool to cover all directions.  Et cetera.

Their biggest drawback, is they don't lend themselves to large designs.  The racer is about as big as they can go.  But you can pack along something larger in a factory to launch later.

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  • 2 months later...

Cool! I've been building rotating laser drills and getting cool results. Only marginally improves drilling or grabbing stuff but it feels more fun to use them. Larger, rotating drones also have the advantage of distributing damage across multiple parts from a single direction.

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