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Technology Factsheet


Category: Robotics > Characterization and Inspection > Airborne System
Reference # : Model No :

This robot is capable of flight in cramped and cluttered environments and is robust to collision, and even takes advantage of contact with its environment. It is designed specifically to study the physical interaction between flying robots and their environment.

Site: *
Size:Small (1-5kg/2lb-20lb, 10-30cm/4in-12in length )
TRL:Research (1-3)
TRL2: *
Tether: *
Waterproof: *
Payload: *
Reach: *
Manipulator: *




As flying insects are capable of navigating cluttered indoor environments, so will the AirBurr introduce concepts not yet seen in indoor flying robots. Whether it's exploring ancient caves, searching for survivors in a collapsed mine or assessing damage to an irradiated nuclear power plant, the AirBurr’s optimized structure absorbs collision energy while protecting sensitive rotors and payloads.

Innovative optic-flow based algorithms resembling those used by insects will help the robot control its speed. Smart sensing within the robot's structure will be used to detect the position and force of contact with the environment. Its active self-recovery system made of carbon-fibre legs ensures it can stand up and return to flight no matter what position it finds itself in.

Like insects trying to find a way out of a window, the AirBurr will also be able to bounce off obstacles or fly along a wall to reach an opening. The project is articulated along two tightly integrated research directions: Collision energy absorption, self-recovery mechanisms and optimized morphology (Adam Klaptocz). Ego-motion algorithms, collision detection and contact-based navigation (Adrien Briod).

It is hoped that these innovative features will bring us closer to mimicking the impressive flying characteristics seen in insects and to understand the mechanics and control required to create a truly useful and robust indoor flying robot.

In the latest work presented at ICRA 2013 by Ludovic Daler in a paper titled “A Perching Mechanism for Flying Robots Using a Fibre-Based Adhesive”, the AirBurr V11 is shown attaching on walls using a deployable perching mechanism with gecko adhesives. Robots, similar to the AirBurr, capable of exploring cluttered indoor environments have many applications in search and rescue missions: they overcome ground obstacles easily and provide a high point of view. The new perching mechanism allows a flying robot to extend its mission time by turning off its motors while it scans the surroundings.

Operational Experience:



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