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: Robots on reins could be the 'eyes' of firefighters

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.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a robot bird (w/ video)

Mar 29, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- The great thing about robots is that they come in all shapes and sizes. Of course, that is also one of the creepiest things about robots too. You never know what is going to be a robot these ...

Swarm robotics: Hop, jump and stick (w/ Video)

Jun 29, 2010

A swarm of flying robots soars into a blazing forest fire. With insect-like precision and agility, the machines land on tree trunks and bound over rough terrain before deploying crucial sensors and tools to track the inferno ...

Cyclogyro Flying Robot Improves its Angles of Attack

Jan 22, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- In the past few decades, researchers have been investigating a variety of flying machines. Most studies have focused on improving the flying performance of standard flying mechanisms, rather ...

Recommended for you

Virtual robotization for human limbs

18 hours ago

Recent advances in computer gaming technology allow for an increasingly immersive gaming experience. Gesture input devices, for example, synchronise a player's actions with the character on the screen. Entertainment ...

Robots on reins could be the 'eyes' of firefighters

Mar 25, 2015

Researchers at King's College London have developed revolutionary reins that enable robots to act like guide dogs, which could enable that firefighters moving through smoke-filled buildings could save vital ...

Robot revolution will change world of work

Mar 24, 2015

Robots will fundamentally change the shape of the workforce in the next decade but many industries will still need a human touch, a QUT Future of Work Conference has heard.

Sawyer is a new face in collaborative robots

Mar 23, 2015

Sawyer is a new collaborative robot (robots that work with employees) from Boston, Massachusetts-based Rethink Robotics. In human terms, the salient feature about this robot is its friendly eyes on its "face" ...

User comments : 9

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

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!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.