Robotic Drones Can Now Fly, Stop and Perch Just Like Birds
When it comes to doing aerobatic maneuvers, aerial drones seem to be rapidly catching up to birds. But flying robots also are becoming adept at another avian feat of agility that's nearly as amazing — the ability to land and perch on just about any object or surface, ranging from tree branches to telephone wires, without falling off.
Stanford University researchers, for example, have developed a device called a stereotyped nature-inspired aerial grasper, or SNAG, which can be attached to a quadcopter drone to give it feet and legs resembling those of a peregrine falcon. When equipped with the device, the drone is able to fly around catching and carrying objects and perching on various surfaces, according to a Stanford news release dated Dec. 1, 2021, describing the work.
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