As clever as robotic cars
may be, they have one obvious disadvantage over flying drones: their journey stops the moment they run into a wall. Disney Research and ETH Zurich have a clever workaround, however. Their prototype VertiGo robot
uses two tilting propellers to drive up walls, adjusting its thrust to stick to the surface even if it has to travel over uneven surfaces like bricks. The result, as you'll see below, is uncanny -- all it takes is a quick push from the propellers to have this machine defying gravity.
Disney hasn't said how close the VertiGo is to becoming a real-world product, although it's easy to see the practical uses. Besides being a ton of fun for a remote-controlled car, it could be vital for rescue robots
, recon and other situations where both flat ground and open spaces are in short supply. You might one day see wall-crawling robots finding people that might otherwise go undetected.This article by Jon Fingas originally ran on Engadget, the definitive guide to this connected life.