California Institute of Technology (Caltech) researchers have developed a robot drone that can traverse rough terrain.
A team at Caltech's Center for Autonomous Systems and Technology designed Leonardo (LEg ON Aerial Robotic DrOne) as a bipedal/aerial hybrid, taking birds' ability to walk on two legs and fly as inspiration.
Leonardo features two torso rotors enabling the robot to lift off when it loses balance, then recover via thrust-facilitated weight shifting.
Caltech's Morteza Gharib said Leonardo's stabilizing legs also would allow the machine to carry bulkier batteries, expanding its power and versatility.
Said Gharib, "They'd be able to carry equipment and then fly overhead and take steady images, becoming a scientists or an engineer's companion."
From The Washington Post
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