A four-wheeled robot that can be driven on plane surfaces or on the walls has been brought to life.
Research staffs at Disney and ETH Zurich have created a new robot car called VertiGo that has the ability to drive, fly, jump, and even ride up on the walls. It utilizes propellers and wheels to fly over obstacles and stick to walls.
The four wheels of this robot are completely unpowered as all of VertiGo’s propulsive power is attained from the two steerable propellers. The transition between driving and wall-riding is completely seamless, which makes this robot feel fantastic.
Disney hasn’t shed any light on VertiGo’s usage yet, but it has explained its creation process as follows:
A key research problem in the design of VertiGo robot was to maximize the ratio between thrust output and vehicle weight. Weight is minimized by using a central carbon fibre baseplate, while 3D-printed parts in conjunction with carbon-rods are used for more complex three-dimensional structures like the wheel suspension or the wheels themselves.
The baseplate provides mounting points for two thruster modules and the wheel suspensions. It also serves as carrier for all the electronic parts and wires. The thrusters are mounted using a two-ringed Cardan Suspension. Integrated servomotors allow the inner and outer ring to be moved independently from one another. This supports the generation of all the forces required to drive on the floor, on walls and theoretically even on the ceiling.
VertiGo certainly looks and feels nice, but at the moment it is in prototyping phase. So don’t expect to see in the market anytime soon.
Image Courtesy: ubergizmo.com