Biorobotics researchers at the Institut des Sciences du Mouvement – Etienne-Jules Marey (CNRS/Aix-Marseille Université) have developed the first aerial robot able to fly over uneven terrain that is stabilized visually without an accelerometer.
Called BeeRotor, it adjusts its speed and avoids obstacles thanks to optic flow sensors inspired by insect vision. It can fly along a tunnel with uneven, moving walls without measuring either speed or altitude. The study was published on 26 February 2015 in the journal Bioinspiration & Biomimetics.
All aircraft, from drones to the Ariane launcher, are currently equipped with an inertial measurement unit, including accelerometers. This allows these aircraft to stabilize their roll and pitch with respect to the horizon or rather with respect to its perpendicular: the direction of the center of the Earth. An accelerometer measures all the accelerations of the aircraft including gravity, which is always directed toward the center of the Earth. However, this essential tool has no equivalent in insects, which fly quite happily without this information.
Researchers Fabien Expert and Franck Ruffier therefore took inspiration from winged insects to create BeeRotor, a tethered flying robot1 able for the first time to adjust its speed and follow terrain with no accelerometer and without measuring speed or altitude. With a weight of 80 grams and a length of 47 centimeters, it can, all by itself, avoid vertical obstacles in a tunnel with moving walls. To achieve this, the researchers mimicked the ability of insects to use the passing landscape as they fly. This is known as optic flow, the principle of which can readily be observed when driving along a motorway: the view in front is fairly stable, but looking out to either side, the landscape passes by faster and faster, reaching a maximum at an angle of 90 degrees to the path of the vehicle.
To measure optic flow, BeeRotor is equipped with a mere 24 photodiodes (or pixels) distributed at the top and the bottom of its eye. This enables it to detect contrasts in the environment as well as their motion. As in insects, the speed at which a feature in the scenery moves from one pixel to another provides the angular velocity of the flow. When the flow increases, this means that the robot’s speed is also increasing or that the distance relative to obstacles is decreasing. By way of a brain, BeeRotor has three feedback loops2 , which act as three different reflexes that directly make use of the optic flow. The first feedback loop makes it change its altitude so as to follow the floor or the roof. The second one controls the robot’s speed in order to adapt it to the size of the tunnel through which it flies. The third loop stabilizes the eye in relation to the local slope, using a dedicated motor. This enables the robot to always obtain the best possible field of view, independently of its degree of pitch. BeeRotor can thus avoid very steeply sloping obstacles (see video) with no accelerometer and without measuring speed or altitude. A patent was taken out on this technology in late 2013.
Read more: Bio-inspired eye stabilizes robot’s flight
The Latest on: Biorobotics
via Google News
The Latest on: Biorobotics
- A Fossil as a Friendon July 18, 2019 at 8:57 am
This helped engineers like me in the Biorobotics laboratory of EPFL (working with Tomislav Horvat and Auke Ijspeert) and a great team of biologists (led by John Nyakatura at the Humboldt University of ... […]
- Company Overview of BioRobotics Group Limitedon July 5, 2019 at 5:20 pm
BioRobotics Group Limited designs, develops, manufactures, and distributes life science instruments for DNA microarray manufacturing and colony picking. The company was founded in 1993 and is based in ... […]
- Using Sensors to Improve the Interaction Between Humans and Robots Walking Togetheron June 4, 2019 at 3:07 pm
Researchers at the BioRobotics Institute of Scuola Superiore Sant"Anna, Co-Robotics srl and Sheffield Hallam University have recently proposed a new approach to improve interactions between humans and ... […]
- The revolution of plantoidson May 10, 2019 at 6:08 am
This is the second plant robot created by the international research team of the Center for Micro-BioRobotics at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) led by Barbara Mazzolai, a biologist with a ... […]
- Multiple Presentations to Highlight Longer-Term Clinical Data and Real-World Experience in Support of Aquablation Therapy at AUA 2019on May 2, 2019 at 5:00 pm
Data From WATER, WATER II and Single-Center Studies of PROCEPT BioRobotics’ Aquablation Therapy Will Be Revealed PROCEPT ® BioRobotics announced today that two pivotal studies and one all-comers ... […]
- CMU’s robotic arm attaches to a backpack to lend a helping handon April 4, 2019 at 5:00 pm
Carnegie Mellon’s Biorobotics Lab is probably best known as the birthplace of the modular snake robot. Initially designed to squeeze into tight spots for search and rescue missions and infrastructure ... […]
- HydroCision® Announces Global Licensing Agreement with PROCEPT BioRobotics, Providing Access to its Proprietary Pump Cartridge Technologyon March 26, 2019 at 9:40 am
BOSTON and REDWOOD SHORES, Calif., March 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- HydroCision, a pioneer in the use of high velocity water jet technology for the minimally invasive treatment of musculoskeletal, spine ... […]
- Getting a grip on human-robot cooperationon February 13, 2019 at 11:04 am
The answer comes from the study entitled "On the choice of grasp type and location when handing over an object", published in Science Robotics by a research team of The BioRobotics Institute of Scuola ... […]
via Bing News