The new aged robots are wonderful, fascinating and terrifying creatures. Our timeline has developed complexes AI robots creating new art (opens in new tab) alongside intimidating bots made for physically more robust actions, I like to dance (opens in new tab).
Dog-style robots like the Spot, popularized by Boston Dynamics, have become an increasingly common construction for crossing. Its four-legged sturdiness combined with learning AIs and other tools has proven to be very useful for small mechanical beasts that are helping to protect the ancient city of Pompeii (opens in new tab).
The next logical step in the terrifying evolution of our future robotic overlords is to add a deployable flying robot to your walking robot. According to explore technology (opens in new tab), one of these robots in a robot was built by researchers to handle navigation in underground environments. Yo dawg, Xzibit would be proud.
The combo bot that won the competition was built by Cerberus team (opens in new tab) in Norwegian University of Science and Technology (opens in new tab) and ETH Zürich Robot Systems Laboratory (opens in new tab) as part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s competition for underground exploration. The goal was to use the two robots together to help each other with better navigation. As development continues, extra features such as the dog part carrying the flying robot for extended missions are also planned.
“Our idea comes from a very simple concept: the complementarity of walking and flying robots,” explained one of the researchers, Paolo De Petris. “We believe that in perceptually degraded underground environments, collaboration between a walking robot like ANYmal, which has incredible uptime, high payload capacity, communication with a ground station extension capability, etc., but limited to operations land, and a flying robot like the RMF-Owl, makes for a very efficient and logical exploration mission.”
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a combination of flying and walking robots. This year, at the International Robot Exhibition, we saw this rideable horse style robot (opens in new tab) which may have drones landing and taking off from its back. Still with flying drones getting much stronger, (opens in new tab) the potential of drones deployable from an autonomous unit is a little daunting. You can even take a look at the team Cerberus open source docs if you’re curious (opens in new tab)but please, everyone, be kind to the robots.