We aren’t sure where it came from or what its purpose is. Heck, we don’t even care because it’s just so entertaining to watch. This new Aerial-Biped robot is the coolest. It can walk (kind of) with the help of a quadcopter hat and some very long, skinny legs. It has the gait of a drunk person, but it’s actually contributing to some really neat research. Unlike humans, robots don’t have inner-ear balance to help them walk, so the next best thing is to reduce gravity. Although not entirely practical, this “fly-walking” robot is making great strides (get it?) to function similarly to humans and it’s not the only one.
Keep on Walkin’
Walking can be a very difficult task at times, but it’s even harder when you don’t have a genetic predisposition for balance like robots do. Luckily, we can help them with that! By removing the majority of a robot’s weight, they can focus on walking more casually, although it is a bit tougher for robots to shed a few pounds. And unfortunately, there is no (re)boot camp for robots to get themselves in shape. So, researchers used drones and balloons to alleviate some of the weight off their robots’ shoulders.
Don’t Let Go of Your BalloonBot!
The Robotics & Mechanisms Laboratory, aka RoMeLa, created their bipedal robot, BALLU, with a body of helium balloons and thin legs. This goofy robot can climb stairs, walk backwards, hop, dance, and jump off buildings.As awesome as BALLU is, it has many natural predators…like heavy objects, sharp things, and strong gusts of wind! Our balloon bot must be protected at all costs. But knowing IT guys, they probably could fix a popped balloon by turning it off and on again, just like they can fix computers by simply sitting next to them.
Aerial-Biped: A Flamingo Robot
Inspired by robots like BALLU, the lead author of the Arial-Biped project, Azumi Maekawa, explains that they were fascinated by bipedal robots which use invisible forces for stability. Therefore, they proceeded to create their own robot using a quadcopter in hopes of expanding the range of motion and dancing abilities of current robots. And the results were quite impressive.
And I Ran…I Ran So Far Awaaaaay
These robots might not be the mightiest robots, but you can bet they are the flightiest robots! And their future has potential. Maybe they can become the new messengers of the modern era. Or they can become animatronic characters for them parks! The possibilities are (almost) endless, but the most likely scenario is that they will continue helping out with bipedal robot development in the future and become sarcastic sidekicks for all the IT guys out there.