A new quadcopter developed at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University can turn its propeller arms into wheels to keep moving on the ground. Talk about versatile drones!
Named the FStar (flying sprawl-tuned autonomous robot), the drone uses a set of four horizontal propellors to go upwards and then fly in any direction, as well as a set of four spinning wheels, powered by the four brushless motors.
These wheels lift the Fstar’s body and enable it to move like a robotic car on the ground, at about 2.6 m/s. The drone is also able to raise or lower its body in order to avoid any obstacle.
Researchers believe the device could be effective in search and rescue mission by flying over obstacles, deliver small packages, cleaning, or law enforcement. FStar can stay in the air for around 20 minutes.
“We plan to develop larger and smaller versions to expand this family of sprawling robots for different applications, as well as algorithms that will help exploit speed and cost of transport for these flying/driving robots,” says Professor David Zarrouk, who led the research.
See the FStar robot in action here: