Tokyo University graduate students have outdone themselves and are changing the way we look at drones with their latest invention. They created a group of futuristic-looking drone prototypes that can change their structural shape in mid-air.
As you will see in the video below, this could be a game changer if the drones were used by corporations or the military to move and transport things.
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How were these drones built?
The students were inspired by the idea of a dragon flying through the air, like the ones we see in movies like Game of Thrones, and how they can twist and turn their bodies while flying.
The drones were built with multi-axis gimbal systems and have individual segments. A multi-axis gimbal is a device that uses motors and sensors to stabilize and control the movement of a camera or other mounted object along multiple axes. It usually consists of a base that houses the motors and controls and a platform that contains the camera or other equipment. Also in this case, each segment has its multicopter power unit that propels it and allows it to thrust in any direction.
The plane is constantly changing shape as it moves, which is why it’s moving a little slowly in the video above. However, as you can see, it can handle basic tasks like pushing and pulling and grabbing objects. So the possibilities and potential practical applications for its use are endless.
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How can these drones be used?
This cutting-edge technology could change the future of drone technology and its use. For example, it could be used by a company like Amazon to move and transport their products. Or it could potentially be used for search and rescue purposes, to change shape and navigate tight spaces, or to grab objects to transport them, or push aside debris to clear a path. Another use could be in agriculture to grab and pick fruits and vegetables. It could also help in space exploration and be used to create spacecraft that can adapt to different conditions in space. In addition, the military could use this technology to adapt to different types of terrain, e.g. B. navigating through forests or over rough terrain.
The fact that the drones have the ability to change their structural shape while moving makes the possibilities for their deployment endless. It’s important to note that the University of Tokyo team is still working on perfecting the drones to try to make them faster and more flexible.
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What other projects are the students working on?
The students also recently created a prototype called SPIDAR, which stands for SPherIlich vectorable and Ddistributed rotors supported AAmphibious quadruped on the ground Robo We know it’s quite a mouthful.
Essentially, the SPIDAR is a four-legged robot with articulated joints at the hips and knees of each leg. The joints are designed to help the robot move. However, it still moves quite slowly and can only walk for about 20 minutes and fly for about nine minutes. The hope is that the students will continue to develop the prototype so that it can eventually hold and manipulate two objects at the same time. The video below shows the progress made on SPIDAR so far.
Should we be worried about this new drone technology?
With all new technologies, it has its advantages and disadvantages. While the potential applications of these drones seem exciting and limitless, there are also potential downsides to consider.
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A downside could be the potential for these drones to be used for malicious purposes such as espionage or terrorism. Their ability to change shape and maneuver through tight spaces could be difficult to spot and track. Another downside is the impact on jobs, particularly in agriculture, where these types of drones could replace human labor in tasks like harvesting. I also have privacy and surveillance concerns if these are used for unauthorized surveillance and would violate your privacy rights.
I think it’s crucial that we consider these potential downsides as we explore the possibilities of this new technology. As this technology becomes available, I really believe it’s also important to work on developing regulations and policies that can help mitigate adverse effects.
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