Stanford Researchers Have Developed a Drone That Also Climbs Walls


We are one step closer to having personal robot dragonflies do our bidding, thanks to researchers at Stanford University. Nerdist recently shared the news that a team from Stanford’s Biomimetics & Dexterous Manipulation Laboratory, led by Ph.D student Morgan Pope, have developed a drone that can fly into walls, perch on the vertical surface, and begin climbing to the top.

The drone is called SCAMP, or Stanford Climbing and Aerial Maneuvering Platform, but Pope tells Nerdist that the full name is really just a “collection of words that gives us an excuse to call our robot SCAMP.” The researchers found inspiration in things like woodpeckers, flying squirrels, and daddy longlegs, creating a unique hybrid robot that goes beyond what standard drones are capable of. To fly, the device uses a quadrotor system. There are also two motors on board: one that pushes the drone against the wall during perching, and another that moves the legs during climbing. "SCAMP climbs by alternating loads between its two feet," the narrator of the video above says. "The feet attach to bumps and pits on the wall using tiny metal spikes referred to as micro-spines. These attach and pull down against the foothold and release when tension is removed." If the robot slips, the rotors turn back on so that it is pushed back to the wall and can regain its footing.

A research paper outlining the SCAMP technology and its possible uses as a communication device in disaster or security applications is currently in review by the journal IEEE Transactions on Robotics. To learn more about the drone, watch the video above and head to the Multi-Modal Robots page on Stanford’s Biomimetics & Dexterous Manipulation Laboratory website.

Image via YouTube

[h/t Nerdist]