A robot with an expanding body appeared

Researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Calgary presented the first

an expandable design that canused to make flying robots that change shape during flight. In an article previously published on the arXiv portal, they unveiled a new robot called the PufferBot that they built using this unique and innovative structure.

Developed design based onexpandable frame and drive train, also repeats the expansion pattern of airbags in cars. Thus, it has several advantages over more traditional drone designs, as it can limit the damage caused by the robot colliding with other objects, like airbags.

Unlike existing systems usingstatic designs for propellers, the design developed by the researchers is adjustable and can be of different sizes. At the same time, the maneuverability of the drone is not reduced.

Since it provides robots with the abilitysignificantly change its size and appearance (due to shrinkage and expansion), the structure can also serve as a useful communication tool. For example, an unmanned aerial vehicle can be programmed to expand when it senses a certain type of threat.

PufferBot can be especially useful forcompleting missions in conditions where robots are more likely to collide with other objects. In addition, the expandable structure can be adapted and used to create other unmanned aerial vehicles or robots with the same capabilities.

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