US-based Revolute Robotics is introducing an innovative robot that possesses the ability to fly through the air while also being able to drive and roll on the ground, enabling it to access and carry out hazardous tasks in areas where conventional robots cannot operate.
The core technology behind this robot is said to involve a drone housed within a spherical exoskeleton, complemented by a unique mechanism that facilitates smooth rolling on the ground when aerial flight is unnecessary.
According to CEO Collin Taylor, this design allows the robot to drive for five times longer than it can fly, as it conserves energy by not having to counteract gravity. If the situation demands navigation around obstacles or swift travel, it seamlessly switches back to flying. Taylor adds that this adaptability makes it an exceptional choice for manoeuvering in tight spaces and complex environments, surpassing the capabilities of both drones and rovers.
The idea for this concept was sparked by one of the Co-Founders, Sahand Sabet, during his internships at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Sabet was intrigued by hybrid aerial and terrestrial robots, which led him to concentrate on exploring various types of robots that could perform well in both driving and flying domains for his PhD dissertation. After years of research, Sabet and his partner, Taylor, founded Revolute Robotics in 2021, combining Sabet’s expertise and Taylor’s extensive experience in the commercial drone industry.
Revolute Robotics has recently announced the successful development of its Hybrid Mobility Robot (HMR). The robot combines the aerial agility of drones with the robustness and extended operational duration of rovers. The HMR has the potential for tasks such as inspecting hazardous confined spaces, creating 3-D maps of construction sites and underground mines, as well as automating routine security patrols.
The capabilities of the HMR are said to have the potential to reduce costs, save time, and mitigate or eliminate risks associated with such dangerous situations.