Student engineers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich developed a robot that can roll over walls using mobile aerial propellers at the request of Disney Research Laboratories. It is called VertiGo.
Un very light robot with four wheels and a strong grip, propelled by two aerial propellers, here is the new creature from Disney!
The VertiGo robot, half car, half helicopter, can move on the ground on various types of soft or hard ground and climb vertically on a wall without any transition. It is propelled by two steerable propellers that produce enough thrust to allow it to stay against a wall, ignoring the Earth's gravity.
When climbing a wall, the stern propeller rises vertically so that the front wheels face the wall, while the front propeller turns horizontally to lift the gear until it is vertical. The two propellers then work together to hold the vehicle in place. The vehicle can move forward, backward, turn, roll parallel or perpendicular to the wall.
To achieve such a result, the VertiGo's creators worked on the weight-to-suspension ratio by using lightweight materials such as carbon fibre and 3D printing to make the wheels and suspension. The vehicle is controlled with an infrared remote control, it can be controlled like a remote-controlled car.
How robots move is a vast field of exploration. Very often, researchers draw inspiration from nature, biomimicry, to create innovative technologies. But there are no suckers, like the gecko, or features specific to the many insects we know.
The objective was to create a robot capable of adapting to any environment in order to be able to evolve on all types of terrain. As such, the VertiGo is a very surprising robot!
The device is in the experimental phase, but what will it be used for? A new gadget to put under the next Christmas tree? Or, as Paul Beardsley, who works for Disney Research, announced in the magazine IEE Spectrum, without really giving precise details, this innovation would make it possible to create robots equipped with a lighting system to create lighting effects or games on a wall. One can also imagine that such robots equipped with cameras could be useful for inspecting the structure of certain buildings and structures as closely as possible. To be continued...