I’m not exactly enthused by the idea of these rolling/hovering hybrid robots crawling and zipping all over the earth. Sure, they could be useful in a military or rescue situation, able to conserve power by sitting comfortably on the ground but navigate freely in the air if necessary. But they could also be replicated at large by the machines when the Robocalypse comes, at which point they’ll roll over you and then hover over your lifeless body.
For now I guess we should congratulate Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos and his team at the University of Minnesota for creating a pretty cool little bot. Their design is solid, although right now there are two models, one that only flies and one that only rolls, since they haven’t worked out how to get the motor to power both drives.
The next step is to make it simpler and lighter, and making the robot navigate autonomously instead of by remote. Isn’t it a little early for that, guys? Don’t need to bring down humankind any faster than necessary.
[via Ieee Spectrum]