Bhargav Gjjar of Vishwa Robotics, based in Brighton, Massachusetts has developed a design which not only allows drones to perch securely on branches and poles, but also gives the drone the ability to walk on flat surfaces. These legs not only give it the ability to land in more places than most it can also take more easily explore indoor environments by taking a stroll.
The design is clearly based on birds, which have often been the inspiration of flying robotics but most commonly due to their ability to fly. Birds legs also provide some mechanical shock absorbency, making landing smoother – a feature very favourable to the robotic equivalents.
Currently the robot requires external processing for control, utilizing an onboard camera, through machine vision the remote computer relays positioning information and allows the claws to grip objects. No doubt with aims to one day become entirely autonomous when the technology becomes available.
The design could open drone applications dramatically, providing positionable surveillance, extended duration of missions (by perching in sunlight and capturing energy from solar panels) and object retrieval in dangerous environments.
Via: New Scientist