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A Flying Robot that Perches, Flips and Dives

The small flying robot could autonomously navigate tight spaces.

Small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) could help the military carry out surveillance in unknown territory or first responders look for survivors after a disaster. The trick is making them agile enough to pull off daredevil aerobatic maneuvers.

Daniel Mellinger, Nathan Michael and Vijay Kumar at the University of Pennsylvania’s GRASP Laboratory have developed software that lets a small, quadroter helicopter perform aggressive acrobatic stunts autonomously. They show off the impressive maneuvers–including a quadroter that autonomously maneuvers quickly through a tight space–in a new video, below.

The researchers plan to present the results of their work at the International Symposium on Experimental Robotics (ISER) conference in December in India.

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