- Researchers have built tiny microdrobes capable of opening a 40 times higher door.
- They were inspired by predator wasps that can attract large prey animals on the ground.
- A researcher said the technology could be adapted to more complex tasks such as moving debris or finding objects from disaster areas.
Researchers have built microdrones capable of opening a door 40 times higher by studying the biology of predatory wasps.
Robotics researcher at Stanford University and The École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland wanted to find a way for tiny microdrones to use "powerful tugging", so they turned to bionics ̵
They observed that wasps can grow big prey by pulling them to the ground. They used this behavior as a model in creating tiny microdrones they called "FlyCroTugs".
The drones are equipped with cables and winches and can attach the cable to an object and then anchor the cable to itself before spooling on the ground.
With this technology, two FlyCroTugs each weighing 100 grams could be used , open a 40 times higher door.
Here you can see the microdrones opening the door here:
Part of the design of the FlyCroTug is based on another animal. The gecko lizard was famous for clinging to the walls with its sticky feet, providing inspiration for the drone glue.
"Teams of these drones could cooperate cooperatively to perform more complex manipulation tasks," Stanford researcher Matt Estrada told IEEE Spectrum magazine. "We've shown how to open a door, but this approach could involve turning a ball valve, moving it of a debris or retrieving an object of interest from a disaster area. "
Before the tiny drones can be deployed in the field, there are still a few hurdles to overcome. At the moment her battery only lasts for five minutes. The FlyCroTug also requires a human to control it, as the researchers have not developed any sensor or AI systems for it.
Here you can read the full paper of the researchers on the construction of the FlyCroTug drone.
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