Disney Research Creates A Robot That Can Fly Up Walls

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Disney Research and the research group at ETH Zurich have created a car that can drive, fly, jump, and ride up walls. By using propellers and wheels, the robot can fly over obstacles and then smack against walls for a little vertical action.

Called the VertiGo, the robot’s wheels are actually unpowered. All of the motion comes from the propellers which send it rolling across the ground and then push it up against the wall as necessary.

From the white paper:

A key research problem in the design of VertiGo robot was to maximize the ratio between thrust output and vehicle weight. Weight is minimized by using a central carbon fibre baseplate, while 3Dprinted parts in conjunction with carbon-rods are used for more complex three dimensional structures like the wheel suspension or the wheels themselves. The baseplate provides mounting points for two thruster modules and the wheel suspensions. It also serves as carrier for all the electronic parts and wires. The thrusters are mounted using a two-ringed Cardan Suspension. Integrated servomotors allow the inner and outer ring to be moved independently from one another. This supports the generation of all the forces required to drive on the floor, on walls and theoretically even on the ceiling.

It’s not immediately clear why you’d want something like this but I suspect it would be a great solution for odd stuff like managing repairs on a distant ceiling or move the robot to a location far out of reach by mere humans. You could also dress the robot up like Daffy Duck and finally make that old mallard fly.

via Spectrum