Book Chapter

Towards a self-deploying and gliding robot

Strategies for hybrid locomotion such as jumping and gliding are used in nature by many different animals for traveling over rough terrain. This combination of locomotion modes also allows small robots to overcome relatively large obstacles at a minimal energetic cost compared to wheeled or flying robots. In this chapter we describe the development of a novel palm sized robot of 10\,g that is able to autonomously deploy itself from ground or walls, open its wings, recover in midair and subsequently perform goal- directed gliding. In particular, we focus on the subsystems that will in the future be integrated such as a 1.5\,g microglider that can perform phototaxis; a 4.5\,g, bat-inspired, wing folding mechanism that can unfold in only 50\,ms; and a locust-inspired, 7\,g robot that can jump more than 27 times its own height. We also review the relevance of jumping and gliding for living and robotic systems and we highlight future directions for the realization of a fully integrated robot.

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