Saving lives in difficult situations, like natural disasters, is a very difficult and delicate task for humans and machines of all sorts. Scientists recently came up with a robot that can avert the crisis by detecting the victims easier than ever before.
Switzerland’s Robotics division is located at the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) and its scientists have created a robot named DALER (Deployable Air-Land Exploration Robot) particularly for those rescue interventions. The design of the robot was influenced by the looks and aerodynamics of vampire bats. As a result, his movement is diverse and different, being able to fly or walk, anytime the situation changes and there is a need to adjust. Also, the robot is able to contract and expand at command, provide assistance to the victims that are found by it and, most importantly, rescue them.
The speed of advancing on solid ground is not rally-like, but as long as it doesn’t stay immobilized, it’s of great use. 6cm per second is the limit, so the police officers won’t mind the electronic bat in the traffic. The maximum reachable speed while flying is 20 meters per second.
The team leader of the project, Ludovic Daler from the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) came up with the idea.
“The robot’s design is inspired by the common vampire bat Desmodus rotundus, which can perform aerial and terrestrial locomotion with limited trade-offs. Wings’ adaptive morphology allows the robot to modify the shape of its body in order to increase its efficiency during terrestrial locomotion.”
The DALER robot shows great adaptability. Its wings are able to fold in order to fit different zones and tight places. A flexible skin and an elementary motor are the base of this mechanism and it hasn’t failed them so far. In addition, the materials from which the robot is built are very durable and high-quality. The video that was published to prove the resistance of the mechanical bat shows an engineer who tries to smash its wings, but his efforts have no effect on it, whatsoever.
Cheetah and snakes have also been an inspiration for engineers who wanted to design useful robots that have similar characteristics to what can be found the animal kingdom. As a result, the natural wonder which builds smart Microsystems that know how to work together, get along really well with the technological era that completes the masterpiece.
Bioinspiration and Biomimetics journal is the one who published the news about the robot and all its exciting features.
Image Source: Uncover California