Disney researchers have done remarkable job by engineering a small, four-wheeled robot with the uncanny ability to climb up walls. The robot, VertiGo, has been created in collaboration with researchers from the Disney Research Zurich and the university ETH Zurich. The interesting feature of the robot is that it can climb up and continue moving at a surprisingly brisk pace. Another important feature of the newly developed robot is that it can travel through urban and indoor environments and can move quickly on the walls.
In the past, ETH Zurich and Disney Research has set forward a wall-climbing base-jumping tornado-powered robot called Paraswift, which was depended on suction to climb walls. But, VertiGo is s a sort of hybrid helicopter-car-thing that can drive on the ground and then transition to climb up vertical walls. According to researchers, the major challenge in designing the VertiGo robot was to maximize the ratio between thrust output and vehicle weight. Weight is minimized by using a central carbon fiber baseplate, while 3Dprinted parts in conjunction with carbon-rods are used for more complex three dimensional structures like the wheel suspension or the wheels themselves.
The thrusters are mounted using a two-ringed Cardan Suspension. Integrated servomotors allow the inner and outer ring to be moved independently from one another. This supports the generation of all the forces required to drive on the floor, on walls and theoretically even on the ceiling. All of VertiGo’s propulsive power comes from those two steerable propellers, which can direct thrust along both pitch and roll axes. The surprising feature which makes VertiGo different from other robots is that VertiGo is actively pushing itself onto the wall, which means that it doesn’t care all that much about the characteristics of the wall itself.
It will work on smooth surfaces like glass, masonry like brick, rough surfaces like trees, and even surfaces that are curved. VertiGo also has a big advantage over flying robots: it’s much safer.