Chinese researchers are currently working on a humanoid robot for rescue operations. It will be able to move over rough terrain by simply flying over it.
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In 2018, the robot Jet-HR1 stood out thanks to its streamlined propellers integrated into its feet, which allowed it to shift its center of gravity and take long strides over holes in the ground. Guangdong University of Technology in China just unveiled its successor Jet-HR2 who this time is able to fly.
This new robot, humanoid in shape, is equipped with four blowers : two fixed at the waist, and one in each foot. It can thus take off and reach a height of one meter. The robot weighs 17 kg (battery included) and each blower is capable of lifting 5 kg, i.e. a thrust of 20 kg in total for a thrust-to-weight ratio of 1.17.
Presentation of the takeoff of the Jet-HR2 robot without and with vectorial thrust control in the feet. © Guangdong University of Technology
A flight controlled by his feet
The thrust-to-weight ratio is quite low, which makes the stabilisation more difficult. In a short video, the researchers showcased their current progress using the blowers in the feet for vector thrust. The robot achieves a much more controlled takeoff, although it is still necessary to catch it in flight for landing.
The researchers justified their choice of a humanoid robot flywheel for rescue operations. A humanoid robot has some advantages, but it is generally not able to move over rough terrain. A future robot, designed on the basis of the Jet-HR2, will be able to jump or fly over obstacles. However, it will be necessary to be patient to discover more information since the next publication is scheduled for the Icra robotics conference in May 2022 …
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