Bird-like robot perches on a human hand (w/ Video)

May 03, 2012 by Lisa Zyga weblog
Montage of snapshots taken from the video of a flight test showing
perching on a hand. Image credit: A. Paranjape, et al.

(Phys.org) -- Among the many challenges of designing flying robots is getting them to land gracefully. By taking a cue from birds, a team of engineers has developed a flapping-wing flying robot that can land by perching on a human hand.

“We believe we have the first demonstration of autonomous/robotic flight of a bird-like micro aerial vehicle (MAV) perching on a human hand,” said project leader Soon-Jo Chung of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. A paper on the demonstration is under review for the IEEE Transactions on Robotics.

Hand perching involves two phases. First, the has to maneuver while gliding in order to reach the desired position, which it achieves by reorienting its articulated wings. Second, it has to “pitch up” right before landing to briefly climb and quickly reduce its touchdown speed.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.
A bird-like robot perches on a human hand.

As shown in the video, the researchers performed flight tests starting with launching the robot by hand from a height of about 2.5 meters. During the 1.5-second-long flight, the robot's speed decreases from 4.7 m/s to just under 2.5 m/s at the time of landing. As the robot glides to within a short distance of the hand target, it pitches up to a high angle of attack and then lands.

As the engineers explain, the ability to hand perch represents a significant step toward designing flying robots capable of close interaction with humans. In the future, they plan to work on a go-around capability to accommodate failures during perching attempts.

via: IEEE Spectrum

Explore further: Socially-assistive robots help kids with autism learn by providing personalized prompts

More information: A. Paranjape, J. Kim, and S.-J. Chung. "Closed-Loop Perching of Aerial Robots with Articulated Flapping Wings," IEEE Transactions on Robotics, under review, 2012. Pre-release paper here.

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User comments : 9

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ScottyB
not rated yet May 03, 2012
thats pretty cool!
Husky
3 / 5 (1) May 03, 2012
well done, graceful landing, maybe something for yves rossi
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (5) May 03, 2012
FAIL he moved his hand and he CAUGHT it both times. They should take summer classes.
SeanWall
5 / 5 (3) May 04, 2012
FAIL he moved his hand and he CAUGHT it both times. They should take summer classes.


I see. I assume YOUR autonomous flying robot does much better?

This is hardly a "fail". I believe the robot is tracking to his hand and is autonomously performing the high angle of attack maneuver to land on his hand. The fact it came within a few inches of the target over a significant distance is quite an achievement.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (3) May 04, 2012
The fact it came within a few inches of the target over a significant distance is quite an achievement.
"Hand perching involves two phases. First, the robot has to maneuver while gliding in order to reach the desired position, which it achieves by reorienting its articulated wings. Second, it has to pitch up right before landing to briefly climb and quickly reduce its touchdown speed."

-Hopefully they will post a vid when their little machine is actually able to do this. Or they will change their press release to describe what it DID do, which was only approximately, but not actually, what it was SUPPOSED to do.

Reminds me of the horse that was supposed to be doing math, but it was only responding to its trainers gestures when it 'approached' the right numbers.
slayerwulfe
5 / 5 (2) May 06, 2012
people that don't do anything criticizing everything that isn't perfect.
Jotaf
5 / 5 (1) May 06, 2012
Otto, show us your robot then. They demonstrate great control for a small aircraft of this kind.
rwinners
5 / 5 (1) May 07, 2012
That little movie is really neat. In 5 years, can I have a mechanical parrot who launches from across the room and lands on my hand? And will it be able to return back to its perch when I suggest it?
See where this is going?
rwinners
not rated yet May 07, 2012
The fact it came within a few inches of the target over a significant distance is quite an achievement.
"Hand perching involves two phases. First, the robot has to maneuver while gliding in order to reach the desired position, which it achieves by reorienting its articulated wings. Second, it has to pitch up right before landing to briefly climb and quickly reduce its touchdown speed."

-Hopefully they will post a vid when their little machine is actually able to do this. Or they will change their press release to describe what it DID do, which was only approximately, but not actually, what it was SUPPOSED to do.

Reminds me of the horse that was supposed to be doing math, but it was only responding to its trainers gestures when it 'approached' the right numbers.


Give us a break, otto. This is pretty spectacular for so small an object. Miniaturization continues. If something bites you on your ass next year, otto, don't be to sure it is biological!