Now there’s a new gravity defying bot out in the market. Disney Research Zurich and Swiss technology ETH have a developed a four-wheeled robot with integrated propellers that allow it to scale vertical surfaces.
This new bot is called VertiGo. It is driven by a user like a remote-controlled car, but adjusts its propellers automatically in response to changes in the surrounding surfaces. One pair of wheels is steerable, and each propeller has two degrees of freedom for adjusting the direction of thrust. It can move from horizontal to vertical planes using the thrust provided from the propellers, which also help the vehicle to drive over irregular brick walls. It makes use of two infrared distance sensors, which are mounted in front, to estimate the robot’s orientation in space.
“By transitioning fro the ground to a wall and back again, VertiGo extends the ability of robots to travel through urban and indoor environments,” said Paul Beardsley from Disney Research Zurich, who worked with the team from ETH on the project.
The device is built from a range of light weight materials to keep its weight as low as possible. Carbon fiber forms the central baseplate, while 3D printed parts are used with carbon rods to create more complex three dimensional structures like the wheels and suspension system.