DRAGON aerial robot
DRAGON robot. © JSK Lab/Université de Tokyo.
At the University of Tokyo’s JSK Lab, roboticists have developed a robot called DRAGON. This flying, modular robot can literally transform on the fly, for example stretching out from a square to a snake to pass through a narrow opening, then changing shapes again on the other side. The modules, which are connected together by a hinged joint, are all equipped with ducted fan thrusters that can be rotated to propel the machine in any direction. The robot is driven by an Intel Euclid, supported by an Inertial measurement unit (IMU), and the battery provides 3 minutes of flight time. The prototype in the video is made up of four modules. But the neatest thing about DRAGON is that it is capable to decide for itself what shape to take given its space constraints.
⇨ IEEE Spectrum, “Flying dragon robot transforms itself to squeeze through gaps.”