So manufactured by a team of multinational researchers, the claws was inspired by the behaviour of Birds and bats.
The claws, created by a highly multinational team of researchers I’ll list at the end, are inspired by birds and bats. The team noted that many flying animals have specially adapted feet or claws suited to attaching the creature to its favored surface. Sometimes they sit, sometimes they hang, sometimes they just kind of lean on it and don’t have to flap as hard.
In a statement the researchers said “In all of these cases, some suitably shaped part of the animal’s foot interacts with a structure in the environment and facilitates that less lift needs to be generated or that power flight can be completely suspended. Our goal is to use the same concept, which is commonly referred to as “perching,” for UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles].”
The team fitted a 3D-printed static module and a big gripper to the drone. The drone surveys its surroundings using lidar depth-awareness sensor, this lets it differentiate and chatacterize it surrounding surface to see which matches those to a libary of examples that it knows it can rest on. For example if the drone sees and needs to rest on a pole, it can grab it from above, If it’s a horizontal bar, it can grip it and hang below like a bat👿, flipping up again when necessary,If it’s a ledge, it can use a little cutout to steady itself against the corner, letting it shut off all its motors. And these modules can be altered depending on the mission.
The researchers admitted that the most difficult part of the project was making the drone recognize different surfaces and the precision required in landing on them.