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by Jeff and Jenn Eckert
TechJect's Dragonfly flies like a bird, hovers like an insect,
and relays snoop data.
UAV for Everyone
Monopoly for Bots and Meatbags
If you're tired of the standard game of
Monopoly (and who isn't?), you might want to
check out the Futurama version, inspired by Matt
Groening and David X. Cohen's TV show of the
same name. Prominently featured, of course, is
Bender Bending Rodriguez (or better known as just
Bender) — the human-hating robot described in the
series as an "alcoholic, whore-mongering, chain-smoking gambler."
Noted as being Monopoly for both "meatbags
If you have been worried that aerial spybots might
someday become cheap enough for deployment by
your neighborhood peeping Tom, take note: Someday
has arrived, along with the Dragonfly UAV from
www.techject.com). The spinoff from
Georgia Tech's Robotics and Intelligent Machines
Department was obviously inspired by the abilities of
the real dragonfly, which the team describes as "the
king of them all ... the top of its food chain and the
fiercest predator in the sky, with unmatched flight
performance in the insect world."
The Hy TAQ bot -- developed at Illinois Tech
-- offers hybrid locomotion.
Flies and a Roll
Now and then you see
something that makes you
slap yourself in the forehead
and ask, "Why didn't I think
of that?" A good candidate is
the Hybrid Terrestrial and
Aerial Quadrotor (Hy TAQ),
developed at the Illinois
Institute of Technology
www.iit.edu). We all know
that rolling bots encounter
obstacles and flying bots use
a lot of power to stay aloft.
two together to achieve the
best of both worlds.
Hy TAQ is basically just a
garden variety quadrotor in a
rolling cage. Simple, but
pretty clever. While in
terrestrial operation, the
rotors push the unit along
the ground. When something
gets in its way, it simply flies
over it. Experiments have
shown that the unit can
travel four times farther and
operate nearly six times as
long as an aerial-only system.
8 SERVO 02.2013