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Friday, February 17, 2023

Walking-Flying Spidar

 Complex but very interesting thing out of Tokyo,   Can get you some ware fast and then walk the rest of the way.  The arrival may be scary,  but you then have the last 100 meters.    Instructive pix at the link show complexity involved,  

Oh, Good: A Flying Robotic SPIDAR Instead of actuators, this quadruped uses ducted thrusters to walk and fly    By Evan Ackerman

Robots with multimodal locomotion capability are almost always a compromise, because usually they’re a hodgepodge of mobility systems that don’t really work together. It’d be possible to make a legged robot fly by stapling a bunch of propellers to it, but at any given time, either the legs or the propellers are going to be mostly just awkward extra mass. Some robots make this compromise more elegantly than others, but it’s still a compromise.

A new quadrupedal robot under development at The University of Tokyo called SPIDAR aims to minimize this compromise by combining legs and propellers and relying on that combination for both walking and flying locomotion—instead of leg actuators, it’s got vectorable leg thrusters that can both move leg joints individually and get the entire robot completely airborne.

SPIDAR, in what is perhaps one of the worst backronyms of all time, stands for “SPherIcally vectorable and Distributed rotors assisted Air-ground amphibious quadruped Robot.” It is absolutely not a spider, since it has four legs rather than eight, but it does look sufficiently leggy to set off a similar squick response.  ... ' 

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