VertiGo is a wall-climbing robot that is capable of transitioning from the ground to the wall using propellors; it was designed in a collaboration between Disney Research Zurich and ETH. Edward Baran reports.
This robot appears to defy gravity... The prototype car, called VertiGo, is capable of transitioning from the ground to the wall, appearing to break the usual rules of science in the process... SOUNDBITE, English, DAVID KRUMMENACHER, DESIGNER, VERTIGO, SAYING: "It does this by using the front propellers mainly, and they can turn around in 360 degrees, and so if the robot drives up to a wall, it hits the wall with the front wheels and the front propeller turns around 180 degrees. And then the front propeller pushes it from the ground and it starts climbing up the wall." The robot has two tiltable propellers that provide thrust onto the wall, and four wheels. VertiGo is driven by a user like a remote-controlled car, but adjusts its propellers automatically in response to changes in the surrounding surfaces. Weight is kept to a minimum by using a central carbon fibre baseplate and a range of other materials. SOUNDBITE, English, MICHAEL BISCHOFF DESIGNER, VERTIGO, SAYING: "Since this robot is defying gravity all the parts need to be as lightweight as possible. Because of this we used carbon fibre plates with honeycomb cores for all the main structure and for the wheels and connecting parts we used 3D printed parts. And also all the screws, or pretty much all the screws are plastic screws." The thrust from the robot's propellers can also help it to drive over rough materials like masonry. It's one time when being driven up the wall is exactly what was intended.