Flying robot perching on walls with gecko adhesive (w/video)
(Nanowerk News) In the latest work presented at ICRA 2013 in a paper titled "A Perching Mechanism for Flying Robots Using a Fibre-Based Adhesive", the AirBurr V11 is shown attaching on walls using a deployable perching mechanism with gecko adhesives.
Robots, similar to the AirBurr, capable of exploring cluttered indoor environments have many applications in search and rescue missions: they overcome ground obstacles easily and provide a high point of view. The new perching mechanism allows a flying robot to extend its mission time by turning off its motors while it scans the surroundings.
The video shows the perching mechanism that allows indoor flying robots to attach to vertical surfaces. The gecko adhesive pad is optimized for maximum attachment force and is mounted on a mechanism that stays within the structure of the robot during flight and that can be deployed for perching. The perching maneuver is very simple; the robot starts on the ground, takes off in the middle of the room, and when a perching maneuver is initiated by the pilot, the adhesive pad is deployed and the robot flies directly towards a wall. Once the robot is attached to the wall, the motors are shut down to save energy.