I’ve been following the online AI class from Stanford. Included in that was a video with descriptive commentary of the robot that won the DARPA challenge. The video is also on youtube. The ‘trick’ was to overlay very accurate but short range laser sensor data, with much less accurate but long range camera vision, to ‘infer’ what was further ahead than it could see with the lasers.
A news item for you. Theoretical research on walking, running, and the transition from one to the other. Nothing directly useful here for awhile, but if/when this gets better developed, it means that a legged robot can stably walk and run without needing a lot of sensors and fine control over the real time position of each moving part. Instead the mechanical design of the leg, plus fairly simple control over the angle that the leg meets the ground gives good control. Major reduction in sensors, feedback, and needed processing power.
Air is the element of AirJelly. The remote does not swim through water jellyfish AirJelly as AquaJelly, but literally glides through its central electric drive and an intelligent adaptive mechanism by the sea air. For AirJelly consists of a helium-filled ballonet.
As the only energy source used AirJelly two lithium-ion polymer batteries to which the central electric drive is connected. This transfers the force to a bevel gear and then successively to eight spur gears, which move about cranking the eight tentacles of the jellyfish. Each tentacle is as a structure with Fin Ray Effect® trained. The drive of a balloon by means of peristaltic motion is currently not in the history of aviation. AirJelly is the first indoor flying object with peristaltic drive. The jellyfish moves through this new drive concept based on the reaction principle of their propulsion, gently through the air.