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June 7, 2011
Researchers in the Deptartment of Computer Science and Engineering presented a new robot concept at the ICRA conference in May.
In this third paper on the concept, Professor Nikos Papanikolopoulos, of the Computer Science and Engineering Department, and graduate student Alex Kossett, of the Mechanical Engineering Department, describe a robot that transforms from a small two-wheeled ground robot to a full-featured miniature helicopter. This is the second such design presented by the group, with improved performance and ruggedness.
The researchers' key findings were that helicopter/rolling robots need to transform to maintain a small size and be rugged in unknown environments, and that the robots should fly only when absolutely necessary to conserve energy.
The paper was titled "A Robust Miniature Robot Design for Land/Air Hybrid Locomotion," and was presented on May 12th at the 2011 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Shanghai. The work was supported in part by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Army.