Friday, 14 July 2017

Hybrid Driving-Flying Robots Could Go Beyond the Flying Car

Flying Robots – Significant Application in the Future


According to a latest study, groups of flying robot, whether they tend to be swooping in delivering packages or identifying victims in disaster zones, seems to have a range of significant applications in the future. The robots have the tendency to switch from driving to flying without colliding with each other and can also provide assistance beyond the traditionally flying car notion of sci-fi knowledge, as per the study.

The capability of flying as well as walking is mutual in nature, for instance several birds; insects together with other animals tend to do both the functions. Robots having the same flexibility have a tendency to fly over obstructions on the ground or drive under directly above obstacles.

However, according to study lead author Brandon Araki, a roboticist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory together with his colleagues had stated in their new study that, presently, robots which tend to be good at a mode of transportation are generally bad at others.

Robot - `Flying Monkey’


Formerly the researchers had established a robot known as the `flying monkey’, which could run as well as fly and also clasp items. The researchers however had to program the paths which the flying monkey would take, which meant that it could not find safe routes on its own.

These researchers have now created flying cars which tend to fly and also drive through a simulated city-like setting which seems to have parking spots, no-fly zones and landing pads. Besides, the researchers had stated that these drones are inclined to move independently without bumping into each other. Araki had informed Live Science that their vehicles can find their own safe paths.

The scientists had taken eight four-rotor `quadcopter’ drones and had placed two small motors with wheels towards the bottom of each drone, in order to make them skilful for driving. In models, the robots could fly for about 295 feet – 90 meters or drive for 826 feet - 252 meters before the draining of their batteries. It was said that the roboticists established systems which ensured that the robots refrained from colliding with one another.

Driving – Efficient than Flying


All the drones had successfully navigated from a starting point to the ending point on collision-free path in tests conducted in a miniature town using daily materials like pieces of fabrics for roads and cardboard boxes for buildings.

According to the researches, with the addition of the driving device to individual drone gave rise to extra weight as well as slightly reduced battery life, reducing the maximum distance which the drone could fly by around 14%. Moreover, they also observed that driving seemed to be more effective than flying, compensating somewhat small loss in competence to flying owing to the extra weight.

Araki had commented that `the most important implication of the research was that vehicles which combine flying and driving have the potential to be both much more efficient as well as useful than vehicles which can only drive or only fly’. The scientists had warned that fleets of automated flying taxies are probably not coming anytime shortly.

He stated that their present system of drones certainly is not adequately tough to really carry people at the moment. Still these experiments with quadcopters help explore several ideas linked to flying cars.

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