Drone to Aid in Nature Tracking and Rescue Efforts

A team of engineers from the City University of Hong Kong and the University of Science and Technology have developed a multifunctional robot capable of moving both by air and on the ground, according to a study published in the journal Science Robotics.

The researchers, who specialize in biomedical, machine-building, and aerospace engineering, enhanced a standard quadrocopter by equipping it with a telescopic leg for jumping. This innovation not only improves the robot’s mobility but also enables it to perform tasks in conditions that are inaccessible to traditional flying devices.

One key advantage of this development is its ability to conserve battery power, resulting in a longer flight time. The robot can carry heavier loads by jumping, thus reducing energy consumption and lessening the strain on the battery.

Tests have shown that the robot can easily move from one point to another by jumping various distances, even across uneven terrain. It can take off during a jump and then continue flying like a regular quadrocopter.

Equipped with an aerodynamic stabilizer, the robot can maintain balance while performing tasks outdoors autonomously, without the need for external control.

The potential applications of the robot are wide-ranging. It is suitable for environmental monitoring, able to navigate tall trees to observe wildlife. In natural disasters, it can assess damage levels and assist in locating survivors. In agriculture, it can move between plants to analyze soil conditions and moisture levels in different parts of a field.

This example of merging engineering innovations and an interdisciplinary approach highlights the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration among scientists and opens up new possibilities for the future development of robotics.

/Reports, release notes, official announcements.