IIT Robotics Lab Develops Crash-Resistant Hybrid Terrestrial/Aerial Robot (Video)

The HyTAQ Robot (Hybrid Terrestrial and Aerial Quadrotor) was developed in the IIT Robotics Lab by Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Matthew Spenko and PhD candidate Arash Kalantari.  The novel mobile robot is capable of both aerial and terrestrial locomotion. Flight is achieved through a quadrotor configuration; four actuators provide the required thrust. Adding a rolling cage to the quadrotor makes terrestrial locomotion possible using the same actuator set and control system. Thus, neither the mass nor the system complexity is increased by inclusion of separate actuators for terrestrial and aerial locomotion.

During terrestrial locomotion, the robot only needs to overcome rolling resistance and consumes much less energy compared to the aerial mode. This solves one of the most vexing problems of quadrotors and rotorcraft in general — their short operation time. Experimental results show that the hybrid robot can travel a distance 4 times greater and operate almost 6 times longer than a aerial only system. It also solves one of the most challenging problems in terrestrial robot design — obstacle avoidance. When an obstacle is encountered, the system simply flies over it.

IIT will host the Annual Illinois State Championship for the FIRST Tech Challenge program on Saturday, December 8 in Hermann Hall, where Spenko will serve as chief judge.

See also:

Engadget: HyTAQ hybrid quadrotor robot travels by air and land, leaves us no place to hide

CNET: This quadrotor flies — and rolls — over just about anything

Gizmodo: Uncrashable Rolling Robot Takes To the Skies To Avoid Obstacles

Gizmag: Rolling HyTAQ robot avoids obstacles by taking to the air

Ubergizmo: HyTAQ Flying Robot

Robots.net: HyTAQ: a Hybrid Terrestrial and Aerial Quadrotor

Phys.org: Illinois robotics lab’s HyTAQ moves in air, rolls on land

Geek.com: Hybrid ‘quadrotor’ seamlessly travels by land or sea

Geekosystem: Nowhere Left To Run: HyTAQ Robot Is At Home In The Air And On The Ground

CrazyEngineers: HyTAQ Robot Walks The Earth, Swims The Sea & Flies The Sky

Bloomberg TV: Indestructible Robot Could Be Next Big-Money Drone

Discovery News: Crash-Proof Quadrotor Roves On Land and Air

NBC News: Flying, rolling robot goes just about anywhere

IIT Robotics Laboratory

Illinois Tech Robotics

IIT Magazine: Where Steel Meets Science