With drones becoming ubiquitous across the country, it was only a matter of time before someone came up with one that could walk and fly. Perfect for those people that define uncoordinated when it comes to remote control flying.
Enter DALER (Deployable Air-Land Exploration Robot) from Swiss research institute, EPFL. It has foldable wings that extend to increase air performance, and retract to have it bat-walk across the ground.
Just don’t expect high performance at this early stage. In flight-mode, it can hit about 20 m/s. Switching to ground mode is where performance dips. Walking speed is measured at 6 cm/s.
What it gives up in speed it makes up in capability. The idea for DALER is that it will be used in areas inaccessible to humans. Think disaster areas where buildings have collapse. This drone can swoop in, land and proceed to check the rubble for survivors.
Watching the video shows the durability of the drone. A researcher is shown beating the wing of a DALER with a hammer to no effect.
Further development is planned for the system, with researchers saying, “Future development of the DALER will include the possibility to hover and to take off autonomously from the ground in order to allow the robot to return to the air and come back to base after the mission.”
The EPFL should license it for use in the next Batman movie. Collect the royalties off the generic toy versions to fund the development cycle. Besides, Bruce Wayne could use a few more toys when compared to Superman.