Over the course of technological evolution, many modern inventions have been modeled after nature. From bullet trains that emulate the long beaks of kingfishers to camouflage that replicates the disguise of certain creatures, nature has been an unwavering muse for inventors and innovators alike.
The Morphobot transforming robot is the newest addition to this list. Officially dubbed the Multi-Modal Mobility Morphobot (M4), the robot takes inspiration from how certain creatures use their bodies in different environments. This allows the Morphobot to be able to crawl, roll, fly, and stand among other functions.
Morphobot Uses the Same Mechanical Limbs to Perform a Variety of Functions
Developed by Caltech professor Mory Gharib and Northeastern University assistant professor Alireza Ramezani, M4 comes with a set of adaptable limbs that transform to operate over different terrains and conditions. These limbs function through a set of four rotating wheels that can turn into large rotors due to the fans built within them. These wheels can also bend and be used alternatively to give M4 an upright position.
As a result, the M4 not only rolls through the ground, but also flies into air when required. It can crawl over uneven terrains and stand up on two wheels to get a better view of what’s ahead. When standing upright, M4 can also use its upper rotors to push itself over steeper paths. With that, M4 can crouch and move at the same time to make way through tight spaces. To add to its abilities, M4 can tumble over obstacles that are in its way as well.
These abilities give the Morphobot transforming robot an advantage over other robots who can either function on a single type of terrain or use an additional set of limbs to function over varied terrains. With its nature-inspired design, M4 can harness both abilities and function in a more advanced and capable manner as opposed to other bots that are built along the same lines.
M4 Can Also Perform Additional Actions
In addition to its movement capabilities, M4 can also carry out additional actions such as catching a ball by putting its propellers or wheels together. It also uses artificial intelligence to autonomously choose its preferred method of transport in different situations.
The M4 engineering team is also confident that with certain technological enhancements, the Morphobot can add more capabilities to its arsenal and become even more capable in performing various functions. This could include the option to collect and process data.
Morphobot Can Perform Different Actions
With its current and potential capabilities, M4 can serve a variety of uses that include but are not limited to search and rescue, discovery missions, data collection, and product delivery. This makes it a transformer robot with a lot of potential and makes it a viable candidate for challenging situations such as space missions.
The Morphobot transforming robot was inspired by animals such as meerkats and turtles, who use the same set of limbs to stand on hind legs and function across land and water, respectively. It uses Nvidia’s Jetson Nano CPU to perform its functions.