A WALL RACING ROBOT HAS BEEN DEVELOPED, AND IT IS WEIRDDate: 2018-12-09
VertiGo is a wall-climbing robot that is capable of transitioning from the ground to the wall, and the transition between the two happens automatically.
It was created during a one year project at ETH Zürich as a collaboration with Disney Research Zürich by the team VertiGo. The robot has two tiltable propellers that provide thrust onto the wall and the four wheels. One pair of wheels is steerable, and each propeller has two degrees of freedom for adjusting the direction of thrust.
The fans on the VertiGo robot can tilt automatically to use the forced air to keep the robot pressed against the wall while moving forward. The choice of two propellers rather than one enables a floor-to-wall transition – thrust is applied both towards the wall using the rear propeller and in an upward direction using the front propeller, resulting in a flip onto the wall.
The same process repeats when the robot reaches another wall, the ceiling or the floor. There are eight individual-controlled actuators and a computer that allows the operator to control the propellers and drive the robot.
"By transitioning from the ground to a wall and back again, VertiGo extends the ability of robots to travel through urban and indoor environments," said Paul Beardsley from Disney Research Zurich, who worked with a team from ETH on the project. "The robot is able to move on a wall quickly and with agility."
The propeller's are housed in the centre of the chassis. Each one is mounted within two concentric ring-shaped frames controlled by rotary motors known as servomotors, which allow for precise control.