Hybrid Driving-Flying Robots Can Go Beyond the Flying Automobile
The robots can transition from driving to flying without colliding with each other and may provide benefits beyond the conventional flying-car theories of sci-fi lore, the research stated.The ability to both fly and walk is normal in nature. As an example, many birds, insects and other creatures can do both.Robots with similar flexibility could fly over impediments on the floor or push under overhead obstacles.
The researchers previously developed a robot called the “flying monkey” that could fly and run, in addition to grasp items. However, the researchers needed to program the paths that the flying fighter would take; Quite simply, it couldn’t find safe routes by itself.These scientists have developed flying cars that can either fly and drive via a simulated city-like setting which has parking areas, landing pads and no-fly zones. Furthermore, these drones can proceed autonomously without colliding with one another, the researchers said. “Our vehicles can locate their own safe avenues,” Araki told Live Science.
The investigators took eight four-rotor “quadcopter” drones and place two small motors with wheels on the base of each drone, to make them effective at driving. In simulations, the robots could fly for around 295 feet (90 meters) or push for 826 ft (252 meters) until their batteries ran out.The roboticists developed algorithms which promised that the robots didn’t collide with each other. In tests in a tiny town made with everyday materials such as pieces of cloth for streets and cardboard boxes for buildings, all drones successfully transitioned from a starting point to a finish point on collision-free paths.
Adding the driving device to every drone additional weight and so marginally reduced battery life, decreasing the maximum distances the drones could fly by about 14 percent, the investigators said. Nonetheless, the scientists noted that driving stayed more effective than flying, offsetting the relatively small reduction in efficiency in flying as a result of the additional weight.”The main implication of our study is that vehicles which combine driving and flying have the capacity to be both considerably more efficient and a whole lot more useful than vehicles which could only drive or just fly,” Araki said.The scientists cautioned that fleets of automatic flying taxis are probably not coming anytime soon. “Our existing system of drones certainly is not robust enough to really carry people at this time,” Araki said.