Scientists at the University of Tokyo have created a robot in the shape of a flying spider, which they named SPIDAR.
The acronym stands for "SPhere Ically vectorable and Dis distributed assisted rotors Air-ground amphibious quadruped Robot): I twisted the translator, but in the end an "Amphibious land-plane quadrupedal robot with distributed rotors and spherical vectors" came out that could give you an idea.
How is this horrible contraption made and above all what is it for?
Basically, the robot spider is equipped with 16 thrusters on its legs that allow it to fly, walk and move easily in the water.
I find this stuff chilling, but in the study published to present it (I link it here) Japanese researchers say this new solution biomimetics (always praise this approach that mimics Mother Nature) could have multiple uses in areas such as surveillance, exploration and maintenance of difficult to access sites.
How does the robotic spider work?
SPIDAR is ugly strong, but it has other qualities: for example the lightness, which allows it to fly and walk, albeit aided by its thrusters to reduce weight (already low by itself: 15kg, 33lbs). The thrust of the engines creates a sort of "balloon effect" that holds the robot spider up as if someone were pulling it from above with invisible threads.
Oh well, as always I show you the video first, right?
Currently SPIDAR can fly for about 9 minutes, or walk for 18 minutes before needing to be recharged. A time which, albeit reduced, can already make this robot spider useful in rescue scenarios or in the exploration of hard-to-reach environments.
Maybe, but let me know when it becomes operational, that I'm going to hide under a bed.