Marking a world first, researchers from the Étienne Jules Marey Institute of Movement Sciences (CNRS / Aix-Marseille Université) have drawn inspiration from birds to design an aerial robot capable of altering its profile during flight.
To reduce its wingspan and navigate through tight spaces, it can reorient its arms, which are equipped with propellers that let it fly like a helicopter. The scientists’ work is the subject of an article published in Soft Robotics (May 30, 2018). It paves the way for a new generation of large robots that can move through narrow passages, making them ideal for exploration as well as search and rescue missions.
Birds and winged insects have the remarkable ability to maneuver quickly during flight to clear obstacles. Such extreme agility is necessary to navigate through cramped spaces and crowded environments, like forests. There are already miniature flying machines that can roll, pitch, or otherwise alter their flight attitude to pass through small apertures. But birds illustrate another strategy that is just as effective for flying through bottlenecks. They can quickly fold their wings during high-speed flight, reducing their imposing span, to easily negotiate the challenging paths before them.
Deployment of aerial robots in constricted and cluttered areas for search and rescue, exploratory, or mapping operations will become more and more commonplace. They will need to be able to circumnavigate many obstacles and travel through fairly tight passages to complete their missions. Accordingly, researchers from the Étienne Jules Marey Institute of Movement Sciences (CNRS / Aix-Marseille Université) have designed a flying robot that can reduce its wingspan in flight to move through a small opening, without intensive steering that would consume too much energy and require a robotic platform featuring a low-inertia (light and small robot).2
Dubbed Quad-Morphing, the new robot has two rotating arms each equipped with two propellers for helicopter-like flight. A system of elastic and rigid wires allows the robot to change the orientation of its arms in flight so that they are either perpendicular or parallel to its central axis. It adopts the parallel position, halving its wingspan, to traverse a narrow stretch and then switches back to perpendicular position to stabilize its flight, all while flying at a speed of 9 km/h, which is pretty fast for an aerial robot.
At present, it is the precision of the Quad-Morphing autopilot mechanism that determines the robot’s agility. The autopilot activates arm reorientation when the robot nears a tight passage, as determined by a 3D localization system used at the institute.3 The researchers have also equipped the robot with a miniature camera that can take 120 pictures per second. In the future, this will allow Quad-Morphing to independently assess the size of the gap before it and fold its wings accordingly if necessary. Flight testing with the new camera will begin this month.
Learn more: Aerial robot that can morph in flight
The Latest on: Aerial robots
via Google News
The Latest on: Aerial robots
- Giant floating robots and millennia-old odors make up a new installation at Tate Modernon October 13, 2021 at 10:28 pm
Artist Anicka Yi has taken over the London gallery's famous Turbine Hall with jellyfish-like "aerobes" that respond to their environments and museum visitors.
- This bipedal drone robot can walk, fly, skateboard, and slacklineon October 13, 2021 at 2:34 pm
The vision is robots like Leo taking on a range of robotic missions that couldn’t be carried out by ground or aerial robots.
- Video Shows Off How New Robot Can Skateboard, Slackline And Flyon October 12, 2021 at 9:47 am
A new bipedal robot has been revealed in a video showing off its ability to skateboard, slackline and even fly. For someone who knows very little about robots, I may not understand the technicalities ...
- Now Scientists Have Created A Flying Robot That Can Ride A Skateboard, Balance On A Slacklineon October 11, 2021 at 10:28 am
Caltech and Northeastern Univ. have created LEO, a human-like robot that can walk, fly, ride a skateboard and balance on a slackline. (VIDEO) ...
- Caltech's LEO robot hybrid can skateboard, tightrope walk and flyon October 9, 2021 at 5:09 pm
Caltech's LEONARDO, short for LEgs ONboARD drOne, is a bipedal robot that can skateboard, hop, walk a tightrope and fly.
- Meet LEO: Tiny 2.5ft-tall drone-robot hybrid can use its two legs to navigate a slackline and skateboard, or switch on its thrusters to fly through the airon October 7, 2021 at 11:03 am
LEO was developed from parts found around the lab, including from two-legged robots and drones, by engineers from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
- LEONARDO is a fusion of bipedal walking robot with flying drone that masters a slacklineon October 7, 2021 at 3:13 am
LEONARDO — an acronym for ‘legs onboard drone’ — that can switch between walking and flying. using leg joints and propeller-based thrusters, LEO is a fusion of a bipedal walking robot with a flying ...
- Russia is building a GIANT robot army (PHOTOS)on October 6, 2021 at 10:42 pm
The Russian army has dozens of types of land, air, surface and underwater combat robots in varying degrees of readiness. Many of them are already taking part in tests and drills.
- LEONARDO, the bipedal robot, can ride a skateboard and walk a slacklineon October 6, 2021 at 12:57 pm
Researchers at Caltech have built a bipedal robot that combines walking with flying to create a new type of locomotion, making it exceptionally nimble and capable of complex movements.
via Bing News