January 16, 2022

Science

The world of science and technology

This drone has legs: Watch a flying robot perch on branches, catch a tennis ball in mid-air

Wings aren’t the only things that make birds so successful. If it weren’t for their feet, how would pelicans skimming the tips of waves be able to suddenly land on a pier piling, or owls grab a mouse at 64 kilometers per hour without missing a beat? Robot birds must be able to do the same—something that has been a challenge, until now.

In a new study, researchers analyzed the anatomy and behavior of a tiny American parrot called a parrotlet and peregrine falcons, two species known for their expert footwork. They then designed “SNAG” (Stereotyped Nature-Inspired Aerial Grasper) – a pair of jointed legs attached to feet with jointed talons that automatically close around any object they encounter, be it a dowel, branch, or tennis ball.

Read the research ($): http://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/scirobotics.abj7562

Science News Source: Science Magazine