There’s a quadcopter drone that uses spring-loaded arms and a process called “rapid aerial morphing” to fold itself up as it flies. So we’re a step closer to real-life Transformers. Plus: the story of the all-robot band Compressorhead, whose members twist and turn their mechanical parts so they can ROCK!
Spring-Loaded Drone Collapses Mid-Flight to Zip Through Windows (IEEE Spectrum)
Compressorhead (Weirdest Band In The World)
There’s a flying, folding drone, so we’re a step closer to real-life Transformers.
The researchers call this technique “rapid aerial morphing,” which could definitely describe what the Decepticon Transformers used to do whenever Megatron sent them to attack Optimus Prime and the heroic Autobots.
But in this case, it refers to a new design of quadcopter drones that allows them to change shape while flying and without extra motors or mechanical pieces.
The inventors at the University of California Berkeley uses spring-loaded arms. As the motors are powering the propellers, they also put out force that keeps the copter’s arms stretching out.
But when the motors go off, the spring-loaded arms snap inward and the quadcopter folds in on itself.
This allows the craft to pass through smaller spaces it wouldn’t be able to navigate with its arms extended.
As tech writer Evan Ackerman notes, you could just build a smaller non-folding drone, but the larger size means the craft is more stable in the air and more wind-resistant, and probably less likely to help the evil Constructicons merge to form the mighty robot Devastator, if it comes to that.
There are lots of great hard rock bands, but none are as heavy metal as Compressorhead, the loudest all-robot band in the world. They really do play their instruments, though the singing robot gets some vocal help from a human. Still, it’s quite something to see a robotic guitarist use his 78 fingers to crank out riffs from classic Ramones and Motorhead songs.