Biomimicry, an engineering process inspired by living things, remains particularly popular in the robotics sector. Robots which are inspired by the animal world often innovate on the mechanical part: less resources / energy required for the movements of the robot, less expensive components, functions that are both sophisticated and easier to implement, etc. the SNAG (Stereotyped Nature-Inspired Aerial Grasper) developed by engineers from Standford is no exception to this general rule. The operation and skills of this robot-drone are largely inspired by the abilities of raptors.
Assisted by his team, the biologist and roboticist David Lentink has designed a drone equipped with talons, capable of dynamically hanging on to a branch or any other suitable support. SNAG’s in-flight capabilities are similar to those of the Peregrine Falcon: the robot-drone can fly at high altitudes, and at high speed. As for the mechanized “wings” of the robot, they are fitted with 4 rotors and can also be folded up when the device is “put down”. For the moment, the SNAG is a remote-controlled device (or here rather radio-controlled), but researchers are already working on an autonomous version of the drone. In the future, this flying robot could be used to study more closely … birds.