Researchers at the Seoul National University may have found the next step in the drone evolution process. You see when people think of drones, they think flying machines. They deliver things door to door. Drones take photos off rooftops. Fast moving, they can record you biking through a trail. Now, thanks to the efforts from Soul National University’s Soft Robotics Research Center, drones finally have a limb.
Yes, that’s right. A robotic, fully functioning, expandible limb. A limb capable of picking up objects while still maintaining flight function.
This added tool in the drone’s repertoire opens an infinite number of possibilities. The arm provides more function to the already increasing number of tasks UAVs can do. The arm has finger-like appendages that can pick up items delicately. This particular robotic arm is for picking things up inside narrow ditches.
Origami Robotics in Seoul:
The robotic arm is made of seven plastic actuators that resemble Papier-mâché crafts. The plastic boxes are stacked on top of each other, and either compress or expand to get length. The arm can stretch up to 70 centimeters in length. Its minimum length is capable of being absolutely flat. This means the arm tucks itself away if not in use. It also means the drone’s appearance won’t have a grotesque robotic arm flailing around when in flight.
These robotic creations, called Origami Robots, are becoming more and more seen in the mainstream robotic field. The ability to fold itself into small spaces while still retaining its full use when extended is amazing. This means cleaner looking setups to technology, while still having access to robotics.
We actually have surpassed that of science fiction, in that we do not have giant robots inside the house. Now, we have a clean looking device that can extend robotics out of it and do its tasks. After finishing the job, it can simply go back to its casing and wait for further orders.
Origami Robots’ strong points, apart from the space-saving capability, is its maneuverability. These robots are lightweight, meaning they can connect to devices as an accessory. Accessories even on flying machines, but without adding significant weight.