11
Feb
2019
By: Amby

Birdlike Robot Uses Thrusters to Hover on Legs

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walking robots

 

Birds always impress humans for their amazing ability to fly. Robotics took inspiration from nature to develop robots that can either fly or walk. The robots can’t do both think like birds because the soaring and ambling attitude of birds was ignored. Birds hop on the ground on their two feet to get food and pebbles. With this hybrid behavior, the birds can walk over complicated terrain. They are capable of flapping to stabilize.

In the world of robotics, everyone is focusing on bipedal locomotion or drones. Now Soon-Jo Chung, Caltech robotics, want to lay the foundation for uniting two types. Leonardo (Leg ON Aerial Robotic DrOne, obviously) is a debut of Chung and his team. The robot can use its two legs to walk but uses thrusters fastened to its trunk to move like a MechWarrior easily. The robot features a hover-walk. The new wild locomotion could load injured humans into drone ambulances and explore the soil of different planets. However, it is a baby step, but researchers are experimenting with this robot. It is not ready yet to scramble up the mountains.

The 2 ½ feet tall and 6 pounds Leo looks similar to a whooping crane. It uses its lanky legs to walk around like a bipedal robot. Unlike traditional robots, Leo can use thrusters similar to a failsafe. Atlas may frantically stumble to recuperate its footing.

Combining walking and flight is not easy. Roboticists are working toward bipedal locomotion for periods. The machines don’t stroll casually among us. This robot needs lots of energy to balance in lace. Instead of wobbling for correction, the biped may switch on the thrusters to become drones on legs. The propellers will not waste energy lifting the robot. The feet contacts with the ground to defy the rules of gravity.       

The intrinsic instability of moving on two legs mean robots have to struggle to walk on rough terrain. It became clear during the Robotics Challenge Darpa. In this challenge, a humanoid succeeds in falling on the faces. Balance becomes a real challenge for these types of robots. It is expected that Leo can float on complicated terrain. The chances of missteps can be less to avoid catastrophic events. If the robot has to get up the hills, it could bind instead of ascent. Professor Alireza Ramezani claims that they are trying to leverage the legs to turn on thrusters and manage jumping transitions to flights.

Caltech is collaborating with NASA to prepare a helicopter for the Red Planet. They are expecting to touch the surface of Mars one day. Morteza Gharib, Leo codeveloper, claims that they are trying to make an advanced robot to bypass difficult terrain. The robot is expected to scoot around quickly than wheeled rovers. The drone needs maximum power to hover around.