You’ve got to watch this video to believe the incredible shape-shifting powers of this modular drone! Created by researchers at the University of Tokyo’s JSK Lab, the flying DRAGON can change shape, so it can fly through small openings and then re-form on the other side.
JSK Lab team member Fan Shi calls it, “A breakthrough in hardware design which, in a beautiful way, connects a manipulation arm with a ducted fan-driven aerial robot. The robot seems to be “an ideal platform for aerial manipulation, and I really look forward to its further applications and research.”
Currently, DRAGON drone autonomously determines how to transform – after it has been given the specifics of the gap it needs to squeeze through.
DRAGON will eventually have 12 modules and could pick up objects using both of its ends to work as a kind of gripping device.