This Lizard-Inspired Robot Does A Barrel Roll

In today’s episode of “Post Featuring A Robot Doing A Barrel Roll,” we present the FlipBot, an RC car that uses the tricks used by real lizards to flip in midair. It’s essentially a car with a tail. When the FlipBot takes a sweet jump, the tail spins quickly to twist the body of the car in the air while the tail essentially remains in the same position.

Given that barrel rolls in real life are quite difficult this is no simple feat. The project was part of The 19th World Congress of the International Federation of Automatic Control in Cape Town, South Africa and was built by Callen Fisher and Amir Patel at the University of Cape Town.

Why would your robot need to do a barrel roll? Who knows. However, the entire process is mathematically modeled and precisely controlled, which suggests that the point isn’t the roll itself but the ability to improve robotic movement through biomimicry. Plus barrel rolls are cool.

via Spectrum