You must have seen a lots of bugs like flies, wasps, bees, etc collide with walls but it is interesting to see that they still keep on going without falling. But can flying robots also do that? Adam Klaptocz, a doctoral candidate in robots at the EPFL in Switzerland wanted to answer this interesting question. Most of the flying robots are designed to use navigation systems in order to prevent them from colliding with things in their way. But what if the robot is left free and open to bump into things and keep going?
Klaptocz and his colleagues created a lightweight autonomous robot shielded by a carbon fiber cage. The structure of the robot is quite light and it neither draws the robot down nor interferes with its center of gravity. The cage offers protection to the robot on collisions with walls, obstructions and other things. Even if it falls down, the robot is capable of correcting its position using spring based legs. Once it corrects its position, it’s ready to take off again.
According to Klaptocz,
“This type of robot could be useful in exploring hard-to-reach or dangerous areas, places with little light, caves, collapsed mines or nuclear power plants.”
Klaptocz and his team has developed an algorithm that enables robot to control its speed of flight. Currently they are working on smart sensing inside the robots structure to detect the position and force of contact with the environment during a collision.