Engineers from the University of Zurich have developed a new type of flying drones, able on the fly to change its shape, becoming more compact. This ability of flying machines can be potentially very useful when performing reconnaissance and rescue operations. Drones can go where you will not be able to get a person who can simplify, for example, the search for victims of building collapses, earthquakes or fires.
In fact, such drones already exist, but most of them are very bulky and due to their disability are not able to squeeze in a very compact hole, for example, cracks in walls or different obstructions. Swiss developers say that the ability for its drone they borrowed from the birds. The last can easily change its shape in flight, maneuvering in a very narrow space.
Developed by scientists from Zurich quadcopter can take several forms, which makes it easier to move through different obstacles. For example, faced with a rather narrow hole in the wall straight form the machine adopts H-shaped, and if necessary to fly through a narrow round hole is formed in the shape of the letter O. in addition, the drone is able to purchase a T-shaped form to one of the two installed on-Board cameras as close as possible located to the wonder of the studied object. And the machine is able to purchase a variety of asymmetric shape, as can be seen by watching the video below.
In its current form, the drone is equipped with an onboard computer, two cameras and four axes. The machine is capable of partially independently assess the situation, but to run a complex command, for example, to get into the building and check every room independently, it can not. Researchers want to develop algorithms that will enable compact flying scout to act with complete autonomy.