I don't blame you for missing that. The fact that this had not been studied before is one of the things that intrigued me about the research. I'm always fascinated by thinkers and researchers who look beyond the current paradigms.
Thanks, Ann --- going back and re-reading your second paragraph, now highlights your statement; ",,,to examine the torques and reaction forces that are associated with applying robotic arms ,,,," which I guess I gleaned-over the first time thru. Thanks for keeping me straight !
Jim, figuring out how not to destabilize a flying robot by giving it usable arms and hands is exactly what the team says it will study first. What intrigued me was the fact that this obvious point hadn't been studied before. Maybe that's because it didn't seem possible to overcome.
Very STAR-WARS. I immediately think of the Imperial-Walkers. (Remember the Jedi tripped-them-up by flying tow-cables around their massive legs?) But on a more realistic note, one of my foundations is on Realistic Enablement. Lots of people dream, but the true innovator finds a way to turn dreams into reality. Looking at the graphic in the article shows the retrofit concept for limbs on a UAV solicits more problems than solutions; "flight-worthiness" being an obvious issue, considering lift and drag.
But the dream of the utility is valid: first responders to disasters; flying to the highest point of a suspension bridge and welding a repair; (etc.) makes me think the embodiment such as "Fly, then Land, then Work" might more look like an insect than todays UAV. I'm thinking, hover-capability and suction cups (or similar), to "stick-the-landing" so to speak. Gosh, its fun to have a clean sheet of paper, isn't it-?
Once again, I can't help but be amazed by the breadth of really out-there robotics technology percolating in labs. This development could have huge benefits for first responder applications--that's for sure. Any sense of how much of this robotics technology being explored via grants and other reseaerch projects ever sees the light of day?
Some of our culture's most enduring robots appeared in the 80s. The Aliens series produced another evil android, and we saw light robot fare in the form of Short Circuit. Two of the great robots of all time also showed up: The Terminator and RoboCop.
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