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Snakebot and quadcopter combo makes for a go-anywhere rescue drone

Mariella Moon, @mariella_moon
September 26, 2014
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Everyone has different ideas on what the perfect search-and-rescue robot is, and for a University of Pennsylvania Mod Lab team, it comes in the form of a snake drone-quadcopter chimera. The Hybrid Exploration Robot for Air and Land Deployment or H.E.R.A.L.D. is composed of two snake-like machines that attach via magnets to a UAV. After being carried to the site by the quadcopter, the snake bots can detach themselves, slip through the holes and cracks of a collapsed building, for instance, and slither to their destination. The researchers have been working on H.E.R.A.L.D. since 2013, but now that all its components can properly merge and work together like the robots in Power Rangers, they presented it at the 2014 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems. You can watch the machine ace the tests its creators put it through in the vid after the break, including a part where a researcher used an Xbox controller to navigate a snakebot through a pipe.

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