VelociRoACH, new H2Bird ornithopter aerial vehicle developed to launch robotic birds
Scientists at the University of California in Berkeley’s Biomimetic Millisystems Lab have developed a H2Bird or millibots – ornithopter micro-aerial vehicle also called VelociRoACH that will robotic birds take to flight without any human intervention.
Just about the size of a cockroach, the device works with the mentality of a normal bird – allowing it to flock around as birds would do just by themselves. The VelociRoACH is a hexapedal robot that only acts as a aircraft carrier for the millibots or H2Birds.
According to Evan Ackerman, a science writer for IEEE Spectrum, “Designing one robot that can walk and fly tends to be both complicated and inefficient, which is why hetergeneous robot teams are often more appealing”.
A full lecture on this new flying device will be presented at the ICRA 2015 in Seattle by Duncan W. Haldane and Ronald S. Fearing of the University of California in Berkeley.
The VelociRoACH is designed to fly at about 16 feet per second once it is loaded to the H2Bird carrier which launches it into the air. However, once the robot is harnessed underneath the H2Bird, its cost of transportation is said to reduce by about 16%.
This reduction is seen to be beneficial if the VelociRoACH is unable to reach anywhere like 20 meters in the sky where the H2Bird robot can reach.
He VelociRoACH has legs that are powered by motors, enabling it to stride along without variance. Since its components can break off if the robot were to run very fast, its makers are looking into ways to develop better parts that will make the device to run faster without failing in any way.