Paul Beardsley from Disney Research is the person to thank for this incredible climbing robot that can transition from traversing a horizontal plain to a vertical plain without hesitation. All of this advance is thanks to propeller power.
“It was a shot in the dark but it works” says Beardsley. His test machine uses two propellers, one pushing the machine back into the wall and the other to provide propulsion. Approximately 60 centimeters long it weighs only 2 kilograms or just under 4.5 pounds, thanks to 3D printed parts and a carbon fiber base plate. Keeping the weight down is key to allowing it to stay “clinging” to the wall.
Using a battery that is similar to the popular flying quadrotors it has a battery life of just ten minutes. With the popularity of the quadrotors Beardsley is confident that technology will quickly advance that he will be able to take advantage of for his robot.
Beardsley’s next challenge is be able to have the robot transfer from wall to ceiling and interior wall to interior wall. “Apart from entertainment, these abilities can be very useful for industrial inspection robots,” says Beardsley.