University of Tokyo engineers wanted drones to be able to do more than just fly in open air space, so they designed an articulating structure capable of autonomously shape-shifting when necessary. The DRAGON (Dual-Rotor Embedded Multilink Robot with the Ability of Multi-Degree-of-Freedom Aerial Transformation) robot is comprised of four segments that utilizes a 2-DOF actuated joint between each segment. Read more for a video of it in-action and additional informaiton.
Right along the center of each segment are ducted fan motors, complete with a 2-DOF gimbal that enables it to direct thrust in any direction. The square shape would be used for typical flights for minimal movement between the segments, while the dragon form is activated to wriggle through small gaps in any plane. For redundancy, each of the segments have their own power source, controller and the software to make sure all parts run together smoothly.
DJI Mini SE – Camera Drone with 3-Axis Gimbal, 2.7K Camera, GPS, 30-min Flight Time, Reduced Weight, Less Than 0.55lbs / 249 Gram Mini Drone, Improved Scale 5 Wind Resistance, Gray
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