This drone has an aim in its life, it looks for rubbish and collects it. Drones have gained a lot of popularity in few years by accessing hard-to-reach places and capturing videos and photographs. A team of scientists in Korea decided to create an attachment which helps drones to use their stealth capabilities in a specific way. It has a folding arm which is designed to find and pick up objects.
The choice was made to equip the robot with a foldable or ‘origami robot’. As the name implies, the arms are folded quickly into rigid rectangular boxes with elastic bands and are fitted inside the actuators. When in place, the boxes transform into grabbing appendages and maintains a good amount of rigidity. Thanks to the robot’s efficient design, a retracted arm measures only 40-mm and has a weight of only 285.6 grams. All its functions are controlled by a basic electric motor. The drone has a total of 7 arms and each arm has an impressive grab of 70-cm when it extends completely.
The team was able to produce a drone bot that is ‘lightweight, compact, and scalable while maintaining its kinematic behavior’. Kyu Jin Cho, co-author of the paper and Director of Robotics Research Center at Seoul National University said, “Folding, packaging of everyday things are everywhere. Why not for robots?” He was implying to the endless possibilities of drones which can be tapped into other techs and design elements, or software is added. The A-Team at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Inspired Engineering at Harvard has used the concepts of origami last year to create the folding robots. They opted for the design due to its lightweight and compact design capabilities. Co-author of the study Je-sung Koh said, Ph.D., said, “Like origami, one of the main points of our design is simplicity.”
The initial round of testing was overall successful and the team acknowledges that more work can be done in this field of research and development. They also reported that the overall “design was effective for a findable arm and allowed a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) to perform a variety of tasks in a confined space.” This work of scientists will probably answer the question of those critics of drones and drone technology that what else they can do?