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June 13, 2011 AT 8:19 am

Spherical Helicopter Robot Is Stable, Rugged, and Massively Entertaining

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7dPgzMgf0

I love the “rolling landing” technique, and how it re-orients itself on the ground. Happy Monday!

[via bitartist]


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8 Comments

  1. Lack of landing gear and enclosed prop is a major plus.

    As anyone who’s landed a conventional helicopter and had a skid catch has found out, the little suckers are primed for self destruction as the rotating force generated automatically turns the craft turtle so it can thrash it’s highly complex rotorhead mechanism and rotors to death in a wallet emptying smash.

  2. Well I love the top gun music!

  3. I’m not fluent in Japanese but I believe at the end she says it can be purchased for 110,000 yen in Akihabara, which is the nerd district of Tokyo. At the moment that means US $1370.

  4. Well, I don’t see the automatic part of this robot,
    it seems only remote-controlled not autonomous ?.

  5. Well, I don’t see the automatic part of this robot,
    it seems only remote-controlled not autonomous ?.

  6. Maybe not autonomous, but as Sean noted, the rotor protection and the fact that it can land any-side-up would make this design a great candidate for adding autonomous features.

    What I like is the utter realism of the video: the first impulse of any guy who built one of these would be to use it to chase cute girls around…

  7. The autonomous actions you see in this video are mostly in the low level hover functions necessary to keep the rotor plane flat to the earth’s surface and do the thrust vectoring necessary to prevent the airframe from developing a torque spin due to the use of a single prop to provide thrust. During the hover sequence when it is hovering between the operator and the presenter note the movements in the eight vertical fins that are the lower half of the ball within the curved frame arcs.

    There’s some serious use of rate gyro/accelerometer input there to keep it hovering in one spot with control mixing to give the operator the ability to control its movement. Without this, it would go out of control pretty much instantaneously.

  8. As if I didn’t have enough projects on my to-do list already, now I am going to have to build one of these…

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