Flexible Armed Drone Can Squeeze Through Gaps Narrower Than It Is

With over 17 years of writing experience, Jonathan has had a passion for all things tech-related, ever since watching Inspector Gadget as a child. He's disassembled countless appliances and managed to put a few back together, and one still works. When not writing, he can often be found playing video games or accidentally hurting himself in the garage.

Developed by researchers at the Autonomous Robots Lab (ART) at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Morphy is a small, autonomous drone that can squeeze through gaps narrower than its regular body size thanks to flexible, sensor-embedded joints. Me? I don’t feel comfortable traversing skinny gaps at all, and spelunking sounds like a nightmare.

According to the head of Morphy’s development, Dr. Kostas Alexis, “To demonstrate the capabilities of Morphy, we conducted a series of rigorous experiments. These experiments are designed to test Morphy’s ability to adapt its morphology in real-time, its resilience in the face of collisions, and its capacity to navigate through narrow spaces.”

Basically, Morphy just plows through gaps that are smaller than it is, allowing its flexible joints to strike the walls and bend as it passes through, recovering once it’s on the other side. So it doesn’t actively adjust itself prior to shooting a gap; it just brute-forces its way through like the Kool-Aid man. It reminds me a lot of myself.

[via TechEBlog]

Journalist at Technabob | Website | + posts

With over 17 years of writing experience, Jonathan has had a passion for all things tech-related, ever since watching Inspector Gadget as a child. He's disassembled countless appliances and managed to put a few back together, and one still works. When not writing, he can often be found playing video games or accidentally hurting himself in the garage.