In the USA, a Robot That Can Sit on Branches and Grab Objects Was Invented
At Stanford University, they have invented a robot that is capable to catch objects in mid-air. The team of researchers was inspired by the features of the clawed paws, which allow birds to easily grab prey and land on various types of surfaces. As a result, engineers created a bird-like robot.
As a sample, the scientists used the legs of a falcon. Engineers developed complex plastic components that replace bones and 3D printed them and replaced muscles and tendons with servos and fishing lines. Each leg is equipped with two motors, one for back and forth motion and the other for grip.
At first, scientists monitored the behavior of parrots. Five high-speed cameras recorded birds flying between perches made of various materials, such as wood, foam, and sandpaper. Special sensors recorded the physical shown during landing and takeoff.
As it turned out, the parrots acted in the same way, regardless of the type of surface- their legs instinctively selected the necessary forces and positions depending on the texture of the pole. Engineers compared several different types of bird's toes and chose one such as the ravenous peregrine falcon.
During the tests, the robot was launched on various surfaces in the laboratory at a certain speed and position in space to test how it would act under different scenarios. SNAG was then forced to catch thrown objects in the air, such as a tennis ball, a bag, and a simulacrum of prey. Finally, the drone with the legs was sent to the forest for testing in real conditions - they were successful. Now engineers are working on a control system and artificial intelligence.
According to representatives of the university, the device has a wide range of possible applications, for example, search and rescue operations, fighting forest fires, or studying the microclimate in the wild using special sensors. The mechanical platform with legs can be attached to devices other than quadcopters.
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