The hybrid FSTAR - flying sprawl-tuned autonomous robot.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Researchers at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev will introduce an experimental drone that flies like a quad-copter, drives on rough terrain, and can squeeze into tight spaces, at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation on Tuesday.
The FSTAR was developed by Ben-Gurion University Prof. David Zarrouk and his student Nir Meiri.
The unique drone can adjust from flying to driving, adjust its width to squeeze through tight spaces, drive up walls and climb over large obstacles. It can drive at a speed of eight feet per second while maintaining low energy usage that allows for the drone to be used for long periods of time.
The drone is ideal for package delivery as it can fly to the area and then drive up quietly to deliver the package at the recipient's home. It also can be used for search and rescue due to its ability to move through tight spaces that other drones are unable to get to.
Other uses for the drone include agriculture, maintenance, cleaning, filming and entertainment.
The drone was developed in the BGU Bio-Inspired and Medical Robotics Lab and the research was partially supported by BGU Marcus Endowment Fund - a $480 million gift that was the largest gift ever given to an Israeli university.