New Delhi: Students at Stanford have created an insect-like drone that can stick to walls and ceilings just like a spider.
In order to perch on a vertical surface, the quadcopter drone flies gently right into a wall, using it’s tail, pitches up on its side. Two groups of opposed microspines, or rough patches, will then pull in opposite directions to grip firmly on the wall.
Also, to sit on the ceiling, the drone can fly directly up and use the microspines to hold tight in the same way.
Video credit: bdmlstanford/YouTube
“Though the microspines are able to latch itself onto tiny bumps and holes, it is not just as reliable on smooth surfaces like polished concrete”, Morgan Pope, a student involved with the research, noted in IEEE Spectrum. “Wind could also pose a problem”.
Many off-the-shelf drones still have very limited flight time, so adding the microspines mechanism could allow them to sit and take video recordings without using up too much battery life, Pope suggested.