A Base Jumping Robot

Paraswift is a new robot that is the result of collaboration between Disney Research and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich.

The robot can both climb and fly and literally jump off a building. While it was built initially for entertaining only, it had now got some practical uses like gathering aerial footage to make 3D modeling systems.

The base jumping robot climbs up a building and then deploys a paraglider to fly back down to mother earth. It also has a on board video camera that can film the entire process. It is controlled by remote and uses a rotor spinning in a tube to create the vortex that allows it to stick to the walls that it climbs.

ETH student Lukas Geissman describes it as a mini tornado. Geissman said that the pressure gradient surrounding the mini tornado's low-pressure center allows Paraswift to scale metal, non-metal, smooth and rough vertical surfaces alike.

Disney Research's Paul Beardsley said that the big benefit of this is that you don't need to have a seal between the physical robot and the wall because the vortex forms its own seal around the low-pressure area. Which means that only the wheels of the robot need to touch the wall and the Paraswift can navigate the often rough surfaces of ordinary walls.

Metin Sitti from the Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania said that it was very difficult to have a robust attachment mechanism that could work on a wide range of smooth and slightly rough surfaces in real-world conditions.


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