Like Voltron, robots will soon need to coordinate landings and docking with absolutely precision in difficult conditions. That’s what a group of researchers have solved by allowing a robot and a movable landing platform to communicate in order to coordinate a perfect landing.
As you can see, the quadcopter and a tank-like platform both converge on a pre-set location and both robots move themselves into position as the quadcopter slowly descends. The rotors right the quadcopter properly and finally cut out just as the landing gear touches the ground. It’s a satisfying sight.
The robot, described in a paper by John M. Daly, Yan Ma, and Steven L. Waslander, would allow military drones to come in for a landing on other autonomous land drones to recharge or move off the battlefield. It could also allow for commercial drones to land without risking getting tangled up in unseen grass or shrubbery. It’s also really scary.
It may not look like much, but this process is difficult and time-consuming and it’s fascinating to see how a pair of robots can work together to get things done.