Robots are already being put to use at Japan’s Fukushima Nuclear power plant to help clean up waste after the 2011 earthquake, but progress is painfully slow. To combat future nuclear disasters or other hazardous material spills, Aerial Robotics Lab have developed a flying robot that can pick up the dangerous materials.
In the video below titled “Take off for world’s first 3D printing, flying robot”, the two flying robots, one a quadcopter and the other a hexacopter, demonstrate the ability to remove an object autonomously. The quadcopter injects a sticky substance onto the object and then the hexacopter lands on the object and fly’s away once the sticky material has hardened, taking the object with it. Apparently the hexacopter is capable of carrying at least 2.5 kilograms, according to Mirko Kovac, leader of the researchers at the Aerial Robotics Laboratory of Imperial College London.
While I certainly wouldn’t call the two robots flying 3D printers, I can definitely see them being useful in emergency situations or natural disasters. Check out the video below to see them in action.
Do you need a small quadcopter for a certain task or just want one for the hell of it? Well, Thingiverse user Steve (Hovership) has the quadcopter for you and due to its small size it can be printed on almost any 3D printer available.
The Foldable Micro H-Quadcopter is designed for portable FPV flying and capturing video with smaller cameras like a Mobius or GoPro. According to Steve, ABS is best suited for the Micro-H Quadcopter, although PLA can be used and the arms and base were printed at 80% infill. The deck and arm plates were printed with 30% infill.
A number of motors are compatible with the Micro-H. They include the SunnySky X2204S, RCX 1804, Lumenier FX2206-13, Tiger MN-1806, Turnigy Multistar 1704. Props up to 5 inches can be used and Steve recommends 300-1500mAh 3-cell or Zippy compact 1500mAh batteries. With all parts attached, the Micro-H weighs a mere 133 grams.
Printed parts include:
Base: 1x (pick 6,7 or 9mm depending on the size of vibration dampeners being used)
Arms: 4x – file named v2 includes a groove for the wires to run down the arm on motors that use M2 bolts
Arm Plate: 2x
Deck control: 1x (pick 6,7 or 9mm depending on the size of vibration dampeners being used)
Deck cam: 1x
Check out the video below and head over to Thingiverse. For those without a printer, a Micro-H kit is available on hovership.com.
We’ve added two more videos to our YouTube channel. The first video is showing us printing Bender from Futurama and the second is showing us printing Quadcopter motor mounts for the Quadcopter frame that was created in a previous video. Check them out below.