Researchers at the JSK Lab at the University of Tokyo have created a robotic drone name DRAGON. This snake-shaped robot can fly indoors, which is a complicated task for drones since they have to avoid objects and navigate through tight spaces.
The DRAGON’s shape is linear and flexible, rather than the standard quadcopter shape. The robot has the ability to change its shape on demand, including changing into a box or zig-zag formation. It autonomously reconfigures its shape and can go from a standard box formation to a snake shape in order to fit through a small opening. This could be the start of new possibilities for flying robots.
The DRAGON is made from individual modules and includes a circuitry, battery and rotating dual duct fan thrusters. The researchers hooked the modules together like a flying train to create the robot and control it by an Intel Euclid. They hope to add grippers to the arms so it can pick up items and attach itself to objects. There are currently four module DRAGONs being tested. Researchers hope they can cater each robot to a different application and add more to the current prototypes.