Happy New Year! And what better way to start off 2016 than with a robot?!
Yes, that is indeed a robot climbing a Wall. The little guy is named VertiGo and he is the latest in Disney technology.
The VertiGo robot is the brainchild of Paul Beardsley from Disney Research and Michael Bischoff at ETH Zurich. The robot is designed with four large wheels and two Propellers, which allow the ‘car’ to complete gravity-defying stunts. Perhaps there is no real purpose for the robot to be made but the two researchers say it “extends the ability of robots to travel through urban and indoor environments”.
Not only can the robot drive around like a car, it can also climb/drive on walls thanks to a pair of propellers. The propellers are fitted on top of the chassis, allowing them to manoeuvre in various directions, which lets them ‘climb’ on walls and move around without falling.
The propellers thrust the robot upwards by pointing up, which pushes the air away from the wall and allows the VertiGo robot to press against it. The robot can scale the walls and most likely (although we don’t see it in the video) it could even drive along a ceiling.
Disney and ETH say: “The choice of two propellers rather than one enables a floor-to-wall transition – thrust is applied both towards the wall using the rear propeller and in an upward direction using the front propeller, resulting in a flip onto the wall”.
Of course to support itself on a wall, the robot must be very lightweight. The VertiGo’s chassis is made from mostly 3D printed parts and carbon fibre materials. The mechanism inside contains all the wires and electrical components. Similar to a remote-controlled car, an onboard computer and eight individual controlled actuators make the car move.
Here’s hoping Disney can develop a car-sized VertiGo, because it looks like an awful lot of fun.