Center for Distributed Robotics in Minnesota & It’s Amazing Creations
Dr. Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos, is the director of the Center for Distributed Robotics in Minnesota.
He along with several others work on specialized robots which can adapt to their surroundings and can fly, climb and roll over obstacles in their way. Some of their robots are currently being used by the U.S Army. As you can see it's a pretty big deal. They have a wide variety of robots for all terrains from water, air and land.
One of their most recent robots is the Solar UAV. This robot has two goals in mind. One is to be able to completely maintain itself in mid air using solar power with it's solar cells. Another one is to be able to transmit videos and images to the ground using it's network. To learn more about it download this pdf given to us by Dr. Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos himself.
Remember how we mentioned that they created robots from every terrain? Well another one of their robots is the Aquapod Robot. This robot is capable of traveling through rough aquatic environments. They're is a couple of different versions of it some which can be controlled by a remote control.
The Hybrid is another one of their other very interesting creations. It's a two wheeled robot which can also transform into a helicopter. It was inspired by the problems that certain smallers robots faced when trying to climb stairs. When on the ground the rotors and stabilized bar are folded. When it wants to go into flight mode it gets on one end and releases it's flight mechanisms.
While some people believe that using robots to perform certain human task can be consider "job-killing", Dr. Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos believes that using robots to perform certain operations that otherwise would be considered dangerous to humans can be beneficial in saving human lives. The MegaScout Robot is a great example which is currently being worked on. It's use will be to provide information to a scout team in a safe location which would otherwise have to put their own lives on the lines to get that type of information.
The Center for Distributed Robotics is making big changes in the robot world and will continue making changes for years to come. We can expect a lot more from them and it will be very interesting to see what else they can achieve in a few years.