The sky is adding another tech addition to its airwaves—a snake-like drone called DRAGON. Created by University of Tokyo’s JSK Lab researchers, the design was built to master the mechanisms of indoor flight.
With this goal in mind, the team had to create a device that could avoid objects and navigate through tight spaces. The resultant structure is linear and flexible, which means in boasts on-demand shape alterations. The video below demonstrates this ability as DRAGON transforms from a square box configuration into a fully stretched, snake-shaped machine.
DRAGON can also take control and perform these feats autonomously. Although slow in its movements, the design advances the potentials of flying tech creations.
According to IEEE, DRAGON consists of link modules, each suited with a pair of ducted fan thrusters. A powered hinged joint connects the module series, while a battery pack powers the design in 3-minute flight intervals. DRAGON is driven by an Intel Euclid.
Next, the researchers aim to tack on additional links to the four-module prototype, and add features such as a two-fingered gripper.
The team presented their paper outlining the project’s research last month at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) hosted this year in Brisbane, Australia.
Enjoy DRAGON’s aerial display in the video below.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense