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D.R.O.P: The Durable Reconnaissance and Observation PlatformRobots can provide a remote presence in areas that are either inaccessible or too dangerous for humans. However, robots are often limited by their ability to adapt to the terrain or resist environmental factors. The Durable Reconnaissance and Observation Platform (DROP) is a lightweight robot that addresses these challenges with the capability to survive falls from significant heights, carry a useable payload, and traverse a variety of surfaces, including climbing vertical surfaces like wood, stone, and concrete. DROP is manufactured using a combination of rapid prototyping and shape deposition manufacturing. It uses microspine technology to create a new wheel-like design for vertical climbing. To date, DROP has successfully engaged several vertical surfaces, hanging statically without assistance, and traversed horizontal surfaces at approximately 30 cm/s. Unassisted vertical climbing is capable on surfaces up to 85deg at a rate of approximately 25cm*s(sup -1). DROP can also survive falls from up to 3 meters and has the ability to be thrown off of and onto rooftops. Future efforts will focus on improving the microspine wheels, selecting more resilient materials, customizing the controls, and performing more rigorous and quantifiable testing.
Document ID
Document Type
External Source(s)
McKenzie, Clifford
(North Carolina State Univ. Raleigh, NC, United States)
Parness, Aaron
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
April 23, 2015
Publication Date
August 1, 2011
Subject Category
Cybernetics, Artificial Intelligence And Robotics
Distribution Limits
Durable Reconnaissance and Observation Platform (DROP)
lightweight robot
vertical climb

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