Meet Gimball, the Crash-Happy Flying Robot that Collides with Trees

October 31, 2013 4:06 AM

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Meet Gimball, the crash-happy flying robot that's allowing researchers to learn a little bit more about how to design machines that can withstand impact. Careening into tree trunks as it flies through the forest, Gimball can still stay on course despite numerous collisions.

Most robots navigate using a complex network of sensors. This allows them to avoid obstacles by reconstructing the environment around them. Yet there are drawbacks to this method; the sensors are heavy and fragile and can't operate in certain conditions.

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