When it comes to next generation technology, drones and robotics are the future. At the Korea Advanced Institute, a one-of a-kind hybrid UAV was showcased in public for the first time to a group of students. An inventor and professor combined drone and robot technology into one machine and created Robot Drone Man. It flies like a drone, drives like an RC car, uses a tablet to communicate in real time, and it even has arms to express gestures! Robot Drone Man is exactly what it sounds like: part robot, part drone and part man.
Robot Drone Man
This hybrid UAV is “the world’s first flying, talking, and telepresence robot,” according to the YouTube video by KAIST. It was created by Professor Ilhan Bae of Moon Soul Graduate School of Future Strategy, and it actually has a genuine purpose behind it, unlike some robots that are intentionally created to be useless for laughs. Professor Bae designed Robot Drone Man to help people with limited mobility. Using wireless connection and a tablet to broadcast a live feed, the hybrid UAV can communicate with anyone while the pilot is at a distance. Its ability to fly and drive to specific locations allows pilots to go nearly wherever they want. The Robot Drone Man can even throw jabs to imitate a boxer, but its arms are there to help with the communication process. While the pilot is doing a video call, the robotic arms serve as a tool to express gestures.
“You can go anywhere in the world, and you guys can all be Peter Pan and fly away in your favorite places,” said Professor Bae.
Inspiration Behind the Robot Drone
Professor Bae viewed robots to have restricted movements, so he modified a drone and placed a robot payload directly on top of a UAV. He also added wheels so that the UAV could move around once it lands.
What Kind of Drone Is It?
Robot Drone Man was created from a DJI Spreading Wings S1000+ Professional Octocopter.
Robot Drone Man still has ways to go before it can be used for everyday situations. It may allow pilots to fly wherever they want, but it’s limited to the drone’s range. Professor Bae was actually near the hybrid UAV with a laptop when he communicated with a group of students. Robot Drone Man may have been presented in a jokingly manner, but if it can help people with limited mobility, then similar technology can actually be created based on this hybrid’s concept.