Forget drones that fly around dropping robot dogs anywhere they want. Now we’ve got giant flying robot spiders to worry about.
These giant robot flying spiders come to us courtesy of researchers from the University of Tokyo. So you can thank them when the robot uprising begins and we’re fending off these things.
The researchers actually named this creature SPIDAR, which stands for “SPherIcally vectorable and Distributed rotors assisted Air-ground amphibious quadruped Robot.” Yes, it’s a reach to come up with that acronym, but that’s the least of our concern.
The air-ground amphibious SPIDAR achieves its hybrid locomotion by the spherically vectorable rotors distributed in all links.
“Although several air-ground bipedal robots have been developed by different research teams, to our best knowledge, this is the first time to achieve the hybrid quadruped robot,” the researchers wrote in a video description. “We develop such a novel multi-limbed platform not only for the multimodal locomotion, but also for the extension of the manipulation ability in both terrestrial and aerial domains.”
In their paper, published in arXiv, the researchers explain that the legs on SPIDAR are powered by four maneuverable thrusters on each leg. They are what move the robot’s eight leg segments.
When all 16 thrusters are pointed down, the SPIDAR can fly.
So far, and this is good news, it only has a battery life of nine minutes when flying and 18 minutes while walking. Of course, this is just a functional prototype and if we have learned nothing else (which is certainly debatable given the frightening advancements scientists keep making in robotics), we know it’s just a matter of time before these things are refined.
As the researchers working on SPIDAR state, “Although this video just shows the preliminary hybrid locomotion performance by this robot, we are accelerating the development of this robot from every perspective, so please stay tuned!”
Oh, we will. We definitely will.