This is a world-first flying, driving and squeezing drone, made by researchers at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), in Israel.
Dubbed the flying sprawl-tuned autonomous robot, or FSTAR, it can fly like a quadcopter, use its wheels to drive over rough terrain, and scrunch up to fit through narrow spaces – all using the same set of motors.
It was developed in the BGU Bio-Inspired and Medical Robotics Lab by a team headed by David Zarrouk.
Presenting their prototype to the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Montreal, Canada, earlier this year, the researchers revealed that FSTAR can crawl or run on flat surfaces, climb over large obstacles and up closely-spaced walls, or squeeze through a tunnel or pipe. Flat out, it can reach speeds of 2.6 metres per second.
Also, of course, it can fly.
Read science facts, not fiction...
There’s never been a more important time to explain the facts, cherish evidence-based knowledge and to showcase the latest scientific, technological and engineering breakthroughs. Cosmos is published by The Royal Institution of Australia, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science. Financial contributions, however big or small, help us provide access to trusted science information at a time when the world needs it most. Please support us by making a donation or purchasing a subscription today.