3D Robotics

Flapping bot can perch on a hand

From IEEE Spectrum:

There are lots of innovative ways of landing robotic aircraft, from cables to parachutes to controlled crashes. Arguably, none of these ways are ideal, with ideal referring to an aircraft that makes a gentle landing just exactly where you want it. Say, right on the back of your hand. 

Part of what makes this robot (under development at the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) so cool is the fact that it uses flapping wings for extra maneuverability and, one has to assume, at least a little bit of thrust. This bio-inspired model (based on birds and bats) can reorient its wings while gliding, providing glide-phase control without a bunch of extra complicated and heavy actuators. It's highly effective control, too, and allows a thrown micro air vehicle (MAV) to make a pinpoint landing on the back of an outstretched hand:

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  • Wow ... The Future :)

  • criticism aside it is cool, they will get there soon enough

  • oh look! he's moving his hand to simulate a tree branch in the wind and it still lands on his hand!


    Ya its close but there is nothing more annoying than someone claiming to do something they almost did.

  • Cool!

  • Very hard to do the landing like that without feet.  Even a real bird would not be able land like that just from wing and tail control alone.  It still uses its feet to grab the perch for the final adjustment. 

  • Moderator

    Yes many people have commented around the web about that Jack......

  • He moved his hand.

  • My sophisticated and sciency comment: So freaking cool! :)

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