HomeTechnologyA robot-transformer walks, drives...

A robot-transformer walks, drives and flies

The M4’s wheels can be transformed into quadcopter rotors in seconds
(photo: Caltech/YouTube)

The California Institute of Technology has developed a Multi-Modal Mobility Morphobot (M4) the size of a drone. He can change shape and – when the environment calls for it – drive, fly and walk.

The robot is assembled from electronic components, motors and a small computer that decides what shape the M4 should take at any given moment, The Verge reports. The research team has equipped the robot with wheels that can turn into something like quadcopter rotors in seconds.

According to a publication in the journal Nature, the robot can stand on two wheels to walk, while the other two in this case function as rotors, keeping the structure upright. For example, the robot can better see what is ahead or overcome difficult terrain that would be problematic for four-wheel movement.



The creators of the robot were inspired by specimens from the animal world such as meerkats and walruses. The model is built on the Jetson Nano platform – an affordable miniature version of Nvidia’s robotics computer.

The M4 can perform “eight different types of movements,” and a press release from Caltech says an AI system allows the robot to make autonomous decisions based on environmental conditions.

According to the developers, in the future the robot can be used in various scenarios – for example, to deliver the injured to hospitals or to explore other planets in space missions.

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