Search & Rescue Robot: Hybrid zoobot can travel by air or land

Scientist from University of Pennsylvania Mod Lab team have developed a snake drone-quadcopter, called H.E.R.A.L.D. (Hybrid Exploration Robot for Air and Land Deployment).

“Snakes on a plane” might be a good strategy for building rescue robots. A four-propeller helicopter can carry a wheeled snakelike robot through the air, or connect with two snakebots to speed over flat terrain. On their own, the snakebots can squeeze through a 4-inch tube, drive over gravel and climb stairs. The helicopter can also quickly bring a bot up a flight of stairs. Pairing two snakelike robots with a flying one has let researchers combine the exploring skills of small, ground-based bots with the swift moves of an aerial machine.

Engineers have created search-and-rescue robots before — tanklike machines with heavy-duty treads — but most of these bots muscle over rough terrain with brute force. They can disturb damaged areas and have trouble reaching nooks and crannies within the wreckage.

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