Helicopter Model Lands on 60-degree Slopes

Georgia Tech University's aerospace engineer Eric Feron has a vision: aircraft which can land at any angle. I'm sure there are dozens of practical reasons for that, but the only reason that counts for me is that the idea of an spidercopter landing on a wall is Pretty Damn Cool™ Right now, only some helicopters can land on 20-degree slopes. Feron's autonomous models can land on 60-degree slopes:

Feron and his colleague Selcuk Bayraktar used cameras to track movements and develop computer software to allow the robotic aircrafts to land on their own. The feat, even while right now it uses Velcro to keep the aircraft attached to the surface once it lands, involves making the drone flip in a perfect way to touch down with all its landing pods at the same time. The cool thing is that, if the helicopter can't do it for whatever reason, it recovers automatically to try to again.

Feron says that the Velcro is only a temporal measure: his plan is to reverse the rotors so it "sucks it down onto the pad" or, better yet, use claws to hang onto any surface, Wolverine style. We can only hope that the military doesn't give a damn about this and we could have a toy like this making holes in every wall next xmas. [New Scientist]


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