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Insect-Inspired Flying Robot Handles Collisions And Keeps Going 61

Sabine Hauert writes "GimBall is a new flying robot that can collide with objects seamlessly. Generally, flying robots are programmed to avoid obstacles, which is far from easy in cluttered environments. Instead, researchers from the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems at EPFL believe that flying robots should be able to physically interact with their surroundings. Take insects: they often collide with obstacles and continue flying afterwards. Their robot uses a passively rotating spherical cage to remain stable even after taking hits from all sides. This approach enables GimBall to fly in the most difficult places without complex sensors."

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Insect-Inspired Flying Robot Handles Collisions And Keeps Going

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  • Insect like? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Doug Otto ( 2821601 ) on Wednesday October 30, 2013 @11:38AM (#45280955)
    When I read "insect like robot" I don't expect it to be the size of a basketball. Thankfully, insects aren't that big where I live.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 30, 2013 @11:39AM (#45280979)

    Hey researchers, a toy company beat you to market [].

  • Could this be anymore misleading.. Can maybe editors use an ounce of brain power before approving these?
    Or as I sadly expect the case to be, at lest force advertisers to not make such crapy posts.

    Maybe it should be titled "Forcefield protects Super AI Military bot, buy one yourself"

    • I don't know what people are getting upset about. It does resemble an insect in the way it flies. You never seen a fly repeatedly bash itself into a glass pane?
    • Re:Any more.... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Wednesday October 30, 2013 @12:39PM (#45281803)
      Jesus you whiny babies! This thing is cool, it does something new. Quit nitpicking whatever analogies somebody decided to apply to it (insects) or whatever preconceptions you're bringing for no reason at all (autonomy, slashvertisements). Either post a video of a different aircraft pushing its way through ferns and a maze of ceiling joists, or quit bitching... what it does is really neat!
    • Looks just like an insect in the way it flies....could it be miniaturized? Most likely...

      The innovation is that it can get from point A to point B autonomously in an environment that most other flying objects can't. Using this tech I don't think it would be difficult to let this thing loose at Wall street with instructions to get to the Empire State Building.

      Pretty cool indeed. The weak minds are the ones that don't get it....

  • I believe the news here is that it doesn't veer off in funny, hard to predict directions when it bumps in to something. Yes, toy companies have cages around their flying RC offerings, but having that fling thing be able to maintain stability is new. Check the video at ~48 seconds in.
  • Maybe this can be combined with other NASA collision technology for a fast-paced sample return mission [].

  • by Thud457 ( 234763 ) on Wednesday October 30, 2013 @12:03PM (#45281283) Homepage Journal
    That's pretty big. It's going to be pretty annoying repeatedly bouncing off your daughter's window.
  • From all the videos they've posted all their devices are operated by a remote and pilot, this would make them little more than RC aircraft, nothing they've posted shows anything autonomous flight.

    Big difference between an rc and an autonomous robot.
  • Drunkard-Inspired Flying Robot Handles Collisions And Keeps Going

  • GimBall is a new flying robot that can collide with objects seamlessly.

    I do not think that means what you think it means.

  • That method works great for obstacles that can not pass through the holes in the cage. What happens if the robot flies onto a stick end on? It will pass through the hole and may damage the inner workings. Sure the holes can be made smaller but then that increases weight and interferes with air flow.

  • This is a great assassination tool! Make it strong enough to carry a small anti-personnel bomb. Say for example a wad of C4 explosive about the size of a walnut surrounded by B-Bs or small ball bearings. Use the camera to get it close to your target. Use the novelty value of the device as a way to allow it to get close to the person who needs killing. Then when within range, BOOM! using a radio controlled detonator.

    Think: " Black Sunday " (a 1976 film with Bruce Dern and Marthe Keller ab

  • ...welcome our new benevolent bouncy flying rulers.
  • Add a saw-blade and a bright red light, and this thing could pass as one.
  • I was expecting some kind of ornithopter with flexible wings, how is this insect inspired? I don't remember any insects that fly around encased in a rotating sphere...

  • Thanks for this useful post

Did you hear that two rabbits escaped from the zoo and so far they have only recaptured 116 of them?