Aerofex Corp. is working to make our geeky dreams a reality. The California-based company has developed a fully functional hoverbike that responds to intuitive human movement, such as leaning on a bicycle or motorcycle — an awful lot like the speeder bikes in “Return of the Jedi.”

The vehicle is based on an old design that had been abandoned due to stability issues. Aerofex fixed the stability problem by adding control bars that allow the design to react to a pilot’s natural movements while riding the hoverbike. The new design is thus not much different than riding a regular bicycle.

For safety reasons, the company has been testing manned flights of the hoverbike at 30 mph and 15 feet above the ground, though it is capable of much more. Earlier tests showed the vehicle could travel as fast as a helicopter. Unlike helicopters, however, the hoverbike is capable of traveling through narrower spaces, like through trees or close to walls, and the enclosed rotors are safer than helicopters’ exposed blades. Additionally, helicopter pilots have to deal with the upsweep of dirt and snow when flying close to the ground, but the hoverbike’s ducted fans push debris away from the pilot.

Tests have shown the vehicle’s capability to turn, maintain height and speed. Check out the video below to see the hoverbike in action.

Unfortunately, Aerofex plans to use this prototype to develop unmanned drones for hard labor and military use, so it may be a while before any of us get to play on one.

[via Boing Boing]

Main image and video credit: Aerofex Corp.