Gizmos & Gadgets: New Flying-Walking Robot Struts Its Stuff

The Laboratory of Intelligent Systems at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland has developed the DALER, short for Deployable Air Land Exploration Robot. You can see the DALER in the image on the left below.

When in flight DALER looks like a small flying delta wing mated to a rear-mounted propeller. But when it lands the DALER wings unhinge and rotate independently or in tandem allowing the robot to walk over the roughest terrain. Watch it in action on YouTube.

The design is called adaptive morphology referring to creating parts within the structure that can be adapted for multiple uses. In this case wings that unhinge and rotate for ground level locomotion. This makes it possible to use DALER in many different scenarios.

DALER isn’t the only gadget this robotics lab is conjuring up. Back in May they unveiled the AirBurr, seen in the image on the right. AirBurr is also a flying robot but it is designed to perch or attach itself to the side of building using adhesive pads that have the same characteristics as those produced in nature by lizards like the gecko.


EPFL Flying Robots


These are all prototypes so, no you can’t buy one in a kit at the moment. But don’t be surprised to see robots like these in use for military surveillance, remote sensing, and emergency rescue applications.

Len Rosen lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is a researcher and writer who has a fascination with science and technology. He is married with a daughter who works in radio, and a miniature red poodle who is his daily companion on walks of discovery. More...