SCAMP robot flies like a drone, climb vertical walls like a spider
Robots are going to outpace humans in almost all departments. They are already more reliable, more intelligent and better at sports. Enter SCAMP, and now they’ll be better at flying and climbing skyscrapers too. Stanford Climbing and Aerial Maneuvering Platform or SCAMP is part drone part wall climbing robot, which can fly in the air with help of its quadrotors, land on vertical walls and then climbs them with ease using its spiny feet.
Two things that make drones less effective are – their shallow batteries and physics of small scale flights. SCAMP is developed to change that. Team of researchers at Stanford University in California behind SCAMP believe a drone as theirs that can perch up on buildings can be operated for long hours and even be used to perform communication or surveillance task without flying.
Morgan Pope, lead author of a paper about SCAMP told IEEE;
Quadrotors have limited endurance because of restrictions on battery capacity and the physics of small-scale flight, but perching can allow them to operate for hours or even days, gathering data or performing communication tasks while stationary.
Perching perfectly is difficult for robots, but this drone is able to reposition itself if it lands improperly thanks to its climbing abilities, he added.
Researchers inform, getting SCAMP to switch from flying to a wall climbing robot wasn’t easy because the robot would lose control as it neared the walls. To counter, researcher fitted their robot with a long tail. SCAMP is designed to approach a wall rear-first (when landing). The tail touches the wall first. The impact is detected by built-in accelerometers on the robot that work as pivot to help the robot stabilize.
Accelerometer pushes the robot against the wall with rotors in full swing until its long feet are pressed against the wall, once stably landed, robot can begin to climb steepest of walls. If the robot slips in climb, sensitive accelerometer help it adjust instantly.
SCAMP has weirdly long insect like legs. Long legs and spined feet were specially selected since they are lightweight and consume less power (long legs allow the robot to cover large distance with lesser strides). The two feature also make its ever more effective in flight.
According to Pope, SCAMP is not yet complete, he said;
In future work, we’d like to implement adaptive gait control for SCAMP — algorithms that allow the robot to react to failure by dynamically changing its climbing strategy.